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First Steps Toward Marijuana Legalization

             This essay will show evidence suggesting that as more and more states propose legislation legalizing Marijuana for medical use, those same states will propose legislation legalizing Marijuana for recreational use. As of November 6, 2012, two states that had passed legislation 12 to 14 years ago legalizing Marijuana for medical use have now passed legislation legalizing Marijuana for recreational use. This trend is expected to continue as more and more states legalize Marijuana for medical use; and, those same states begin proposing legislation to legalize Marijuana for recreational use; resulting in the recreational legalization at a national level.
             Increasing use of Medical Marijuana: First Step to Recreational Legalization on a National Level.
             Introduction of Marijuana in the United States.
             Long before Marijuana was debuted in the United States it was used by many early civilizations dating back several thousand years. Although first introduced to North America by Christopher Columbus, the beginning of regulated use first occurred in the early 1800s. During this period, Marijuana was harvested primarily for industrial uses, such as clothing and paper. It was not until the late 1800s and early 1900s that Marijuana was used more for medical and recreational purposes.
             During the early 1900s, Marijuana for recreational use became more and more popular, resulting in increased state and federal regulations. The federal government did not make Marijuana illegal until they passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. From 1937 to the early 1970s the federal government not only classified Marijuana as a drug with no medicinal purposes, they also began criminalizing the possession of the drug. Since the mid 1970s, the push has been toward the re-legalization of Marijuana for recreational and medical purposes. This essay will attempt to prove the gradual change in the stance of the federal government toward legalizing Marijuana for recreational use through growing public support for the legalization of medical Marijuana.

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