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Should marijuana be legalized?

             Marijuana - often called pot, grass, reefer, weed, herb, mary jane, or mj - is the Nation's most commonly used illicit drug. More than 83 million Americans (37 percent) age 12 and older have tried marijuana at least once, according to the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA).2.
             The major active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes the mind-altering effects of marijuana intoxication. The amount of THC (which is also the psychoactive ingredient in hashish) determines the potency and, therefore, the effects of marijuana.1 .
             In 2000, state and local law enforcement arrested 734,498 people for marijuana violations. This is an increase of 800 percent since 1980, and is the highest ever recorded by the FBI. .
             As has been the case throughout the 1990s, the overwhelming majority of those charged with marijuana violations in 2000-- 646,042 Americans (88 %) -- were for possession. The remaining 12% (88,456 Americans) were for "sale/manufacture", an FBI category which includes marijuana grown for personal use or purely medical purposes. These new FBI statistics indicate that one marijuana smoker is arrested every 45 seconds in America. Taken together, the total number of marijuana arrests for 2000 far exceeded the combined number of arrests for violent crimes, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.2.
             We have two factions fighting each other; one those who are pro marijuana and thinks that marijuana is a relatively "safe drug", and those who are anti marijuana. These two factions have been fighting on this issue on the halls of justice for years. The purpose of this paper is to discuss marijuana and compare both sides of the issue of legalizing marijuana.
             Marijuana should be legalized.
             According to the proponents of marijuana legalization, it's time to put to rest the myth that smoking marijuana is a fringe or deviant activity engaged only by those on the margins of American society.

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