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Legalization of Marijuana Marijuana is a substance that has become very much a part of American culture Nearly sixty-five million Americans have used it either occasionally or regularly The use of marijuana hit mainstream America thirty years ago and it has been accepted by a large segment of society ever since Rosenthal 16 The debate on whether the mind-altering substance should be legalized remains a very hot topic today National polls show that more than seventy percent of the American public supports the legalization of marijuana Randall 25 However only two states California and Arizona have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes only Randall 33 Just last month voters in Mendocino County California passed a proposition that legalized the cultivation of twenty-five full-grown marijuana plants for personal use Marijuana should be legalized for medicinal as well as for recreational use all across the country not just in specified areas If public demand for the legalization marijuana is so high then why does it remain illegal There are several reasons why marijuana remains illegal Mainly it is a political issue that special interest groups have been able to crush before any real legislation can be passed The most powerful of these groups are the combined law enforcement-judiciary-penal systems This particular group sees the elimination of marijuana-related laws as a threat to their jobs Over one fifth of all arrests in the United States are marijuana-related Also one tenth of the total number of prisoners held in federal prisons are incarcerated because of marijuana-related crimes ie cultivating using selling or trafficking Rosenthal 2 The government would save billions of dollars a year by eliminating marijuana laws Rosenthal 3 Another interest group that is against the legalization of marijuana includes the scientists whose marijuana research is funded by the government If marijuana were legalized they would lose millions of dollars in research grants intended to prove the detrimental effects of the substance The only findings
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