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is the plant called "cannabis sativa" which is more commonly called
marijuana. Marijuana has been illegal in the U.S.. ever since the Great

Depression. The question we must ask ourselves is "why?" Why is a drug
that has so many beneficial uses illegal? Is it because its poisoning the youth
of today? Is it because itleads to harder drugs, the health problems, the
addictiveness, the short-term memory impairment, the auto accidents,or is it
simply because politicians tell us it is for "our own good?" We have
grown up learning that marijuana is a terrible drug, and that using it gives us
brain damage, kill all of our brain cells, and makes us lose our memory. The
fact is though, that marijuana does not effect us in any of the ways listed
above. The idea that marijuana impairs short-term memory is true, but
misleading. Any signs of short-term memory impairment vanish once the user is no
longer intoxicated. Mainly the reason we think marijuana is bad is because that
is what the Partnership for a Drug-Free America wants us to believe. They tell
us that marijuana will cause brain damage and memory impairment, it will kill
brain cells, and lead to more crime. But what they forget to mention is all the
benefits we can receive from legalizing marijuana. For example, the medicinal
uses, and the textile and construction uses. It is very likely that legalizing
marijuana would decrease the crime rate, and by legalizing marijuana we will
save a lot of money because we won't have to spend it on fighting marijuana as
part of the War on Drugs. There are many habits much worse than marijuana, one
example being cigarette smoking. "Tobacco smoking kills more people each
year than AIDS, heroin, crack, cocaine, alcohol, car accidents, fire and murder
combined. Tobacco smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the

US. Tobacco smokers have 10 times the lung cancer of nonsmokers, twice the heart
disease, and are three times more likely to die of heart disease if they develop
it. Does it make sense that tobacco is legal and marijuana is not, when so many
people die from tobacco smoking each year and there is not one reported case of
anyone ever dying from marijuana use in its 10,000 years of consumption? You
have probably heard that "one joint is that same as 10 cigarettes,"
but this statement is misleading. ALthough marijuana contains the same amount of
carcinogens as an equal amount of tobacco and more tar, tobacco is still worse.

Every yr 350,000 Americans die from tobacco-related disease according to the

American Lung Association. A tobacco smoker consumes much more tobacco than a
marijuana smoker consumes marijuana. This is probably because tobacco has a 90%
addiction rate while marijuana is less addictive than caffeine. Also, tobacco
contains nicotine that may harden the arteries and may be responsible for much
of the heart diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Marijuana on the other hand
contains the chemical THC which opens up the lungs and aids in the clearance of
smoke and dirt. I think it is safe to say that tobacco smoking is much more
dangerous than marijuana smoking. Another bad habit is alcohol, which in my
opinion is the worst of all. 8,000 American teenagers are killed each year and

40,000 maimed from driving under the influence. The mortality figures for
alcohol use are 100,000 annually, compared to the zero marijuana deaths. The
amount of marijuana needed to kill someone is 1 to 40,000, while the ratio for
alcohol fluctuates between 1 to 4 and 1 to 10. Not only do many people die each
year from alcohol poisoning, but alcohol has caused thousands of fatal car
accidents. Although, marijuana, when used to the point of intoxication, impairs
judgement and reaction time, actual studies suggest that the effect alcohol has
on one's driving ability is much greater than that of marijuana. In fact, it is
found that 85% of marijuana related car accidents also involved alcohol. It is
sad to think that a legal drug like alcohol, the drug of choice for most teens,
causes so many fatalities on our highways each year, yet marijuana is the drug
that is illegal. I personally feel that marijuana is an amazing plant, and it
should be being utilized today. The problem is that most people don't know the
benefits that can come from marijuana. There are many different beneficial ways
for which marijuana can be used. Marijuana can be used for medical and textile
uses, for food,

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