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Term Paper - Legalization of Marijuana

             A drug that was first banned in 1913 by the state of California, acting out against the preparation of hemp, has since then gained a higher status in society today with, "[m]ore than 30 percent of the U.S. population liv[ing] under some form of marijuana decriminalization " (Norml par. 5). Marijuana, like other drugs, has been known to impair a person's judgment and ability to function; yet unlike other drugs, "not a single person has ever died from a weed overdose " (Wing par. 1). The cannabis plant can be used to produce several textiles from the hemp fibers or as a medicinal treatment. If marijuana were to be legalized, the government would earn billions in tax revenue, and the economy would benefit through the commercialization of both the drug and the plant's additional functions. With these positive outcomes in mind, it has kept the idea of furthering the legalization of marijuana in the United States within the foot of government's door. Though these factors bring value to the surface, the idea of legalizing marijuana wouldn't be as successful as it is today without societies changes in the perception towards the topic with examples from sociology in social class, as well as the conflict, and functionalism theories.
             Marijuana legalization could have the ability to shape the United States economy as well as social class system in many different ways. There are several factors for this reasoning. .
             The first is that the legalization of marijuana would allow the U.S. government to tax the drug. For so called "stoners " who range in class, will have to adjust to the price but will see job opportunities open up, and intern the economy would expressively profit from the billions of dollars in tax revenue. Dr. Gieringer approximations that an average of "4700 tons " of marijuana is smoked in America per year, and that "the total direct savings to government in taxes and enforcement come to some $8 - $16 billion per year " (par.

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