This I Believe

Oscar - Playa Del Rey, California
Entered on January 8, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Since the year 1937 cannabis has been illegal in America. Cannabis was made illegal on false information, false propaganda and racism. When Congress had the hearings on whether to make cannabis illegal, no real information was known about cannabis except the lies and propaganda that people like Harry Anslinger made. I believe that the prohibition on cannabis should end and that cannabis should be made legal in America.

Before cannabis was made illegal, America used cannabis for many industrial products such as paper, fiber, and rope, which was used on our Navy ship. Cannabis can also be used as other industrial products such as fuel, clothing, lubricants, building materials, crop rotation, and pest control. Cannabis is a very beneficial cash crop that America could use.

Cannabis can also be used as medicine. Twelve states in America have already decriminalized cannabis for medical use. Cannabis can be used as treatment for many different types of conditions. Some of the conditions are chronic pain relief, Alzheimer’s and pre-Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, side effects of cancer chemotherapy, AIDS, spinal injury, and depression. With legalization people in need of cannabis more medicine would be able to use it.

As years passed since the illegalization of cannabis many studies have been conducted. One study that was conducted by the American government was the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse in early 1970s. The Commission recommended decriminalization of simple possession of cannabis, because not much harm came from it but the Nixon administration did not use the study’s recommendations. Another study was the experimental study by the FDA that gave seven patients government contracted medical marijuana for different illness. The study was cut off in 1992, but the patients continue to receive cannabis from the government for their medical conditions. Studies today on cannabis continue to show positive effects, such as slowing down the process of cancer cells.

Some people like to think cannabis is a horrible drug or a gateway drug and that it’s very dangerous. But studies have shown that it is not as harmful as propaganda says it is, and in some ways like medical treatment and industrial products it is actually helpful. When cannabis is compared to other drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, cannabis is actually less harmful then tobacco and alcohol. No one has ever died from cannabis use, unlike tobacco and alcohol use which produces deaths very year.

Prohibition on cannabis, just like in the 1920s and 1930s with alcohol, doesn’t work. Having cannabis illegal actually causes more problems, than cannabis itself. What needs to be done is have cannabis legal so that the government can regulate it just like tobacco and alcohol. Since cannabis is illegal, the money that is spent on it by people who use it for medicine or recreationally use, like alcohol, goes to modern day Al Capones and not to America. It’s time to legalize cannabis.