Marijuana Paper

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Submitted By Jellefson2
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Marijuana: also known as Mary Jane, reefer, pot, weed, and myriad ever-changing names. Whatever the term, the name is on everyone’s lips as the last five years saw scattered medicinal marijuana clinics located primarily in liberal states gave way to a wildfire movement of decriminalizing marijuana state-by-state. As of this writing, twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have instituted forms of marijuana legalization: twenty allow patients with certain incurable or degenerative and painful conditions to access marijuana for medical purposes, while Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and DC have decriminalized marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes (State Marijuana Laws Map, 2016), with possibly as many as fourteen with potential legalization measures on the ballots this November (Rough, 2016). With public opinion shifting so quickly and marijuana becoming increasingly commonplace in American culture (pop and otherwise), it’s hard to imagine that this drug has been largely illegal and controlled in the United States for a century. Proponents of marijuana legalization argue that the initial criminalization of the plant has its roots in racism and capitalism, and that marijuana became the political sacrifice to the looming economic giant that was timber production in the early 1900s in the face of cheaper and more sustainable hemp competition. Criminalization of marijuana simultaneously created another reason to demonize people of color, especially Mexicans; post-war immigrants are largely credited for introducing the US recreational medical marijuana after the Mexican Revolution, though laws would later be created to vilify both Mexicans and African Americans (Siff, 2014). Marijuana may seem like a simplistic drug to research in the face of life-altering drugs like heroin or meth, the historical origins of marijuana criminalization and its…...

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