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Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana

            The legalization of marijuana would greatly reduce drug violence in cities and reduce spending by law enforcement, as well as helping the American economy. Many United States citizens who were once adamantly opposed to legalizing marijuana pessimistic are beginning to see the probable benefits of changing these laws. A study conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy indicates "perception of risk is declining to 30.7% ". The oldest know written record of marijuana dates back to the Chinese Empire in 2727 B.C. Not until 1611 with the arrival of Jamestown settlers did marijuana reach North America (medical marijuana). After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Mexican immigrants flooded in and introduced marijuana into the American culture. Not until the 1930's did the word "marijuana"" spread throughout the United States. Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act, which effectively criminalized marijuana. The 1960's brought widespread popularity of marijuana to the youth of the United States (Timeline). Marijuana is a mixture of shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of Cannabis sativa aka the hemp plant. (What is Marijuana?). .
             The main working ingredient in marijuana is a psychoactive called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. (Cox). Cannabis is generally smoked and once inhaled the 400 chemicals spread throughout the body. The THC binds with the cannabinoid receptors inside the hippocampus, part of the brain with the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors and interferes with the recollection of events (Bonsor). There are many uses for marijuana such as increasing appetite for those suffering from cancer treatments, help with glaucoma, migraines, muscle tightness, and shakiness (Marijuana Overview). .
             Survey taken by the Office of National Drug Control indicate 8.2%, users aging from twelve to seventeen, report smoking at least once a month(Marijuana Legalization). Marijuana use is continually growing every year, in 2011 three million new users of marijuana were reported (Drug Facts).

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