John H. Indiana

Legalizing Marijuana

John Hunter Mr. Smith English 11, Period 7 20 October, 2016 Letter to the Next President Dear Presidential candidates, many people die everyday from extremely harmful drugs, such as cocaine, LSD, heroin, and methamphetamines. Guess how many die from marijuana annually? None. 570,000 people die every year to illegal drugs as listed. Zero die directly from marijuana. Marijuana should be legal in all 50 states because it doesn’t have long term effects that have been proven and it helps people deal with anxiety. There are many factors as to why the process of legalizing marijuana is a controversial topic such as, tax repercussions, health side effects, and restrictions on driving. Recently the laws on the taxation of marijuana have changed. Legalizing marijuana brings in a revenue of millions of dollars monthly. On March 9, 2016 Colorado’s format changed. “The new formatted reports include total marijuana tax revenue, medical and retail marijuana 2.9% sales tax, and retail marijuana 10% special sales tax” (Frieling). Simply put, Frieling says that medical marijuana has less taxation and that retail marijuana has a higher taxation. Taxes help stabilize our economy by skyrocketing businesses which in turn cuts interest rates. This is a majorly positive side for the legalization of marijuana. The main concern on the legalization of marijuana is the effects it has on a human body. Studies have shown that marijuana can slow your reflexes and make you lose touch with reality. “Using marijuana can rewire the mind to make connections in the wrong places” (Itsines). The most crucial effects are on teenagers. 45.3% of US 12th graders have been reported using marijuana in their lifetime and 23.9% have used it in the past month. Since a teen’s brain is still developing, teenagers are the ones likely to be affected by it. Marijuana affects our ability to think clearly and makes paying attention difficult for users when not used in moderation. However, I don’t believe that’s enough of a reason to not legalize marijuana. If you are ignorant enough to abuse marijuana then shame on you. Authorities are trying to test how to figure the “legal limit” of marijuana intoxication whilst driving. Unlike alcohol, “the body metabolizes pot in a way that makes it nearly impossible for scientists to agree on an appropriate legal limit for motor-vehicle operation” --- it’s almost impossible to determine whether or not the driver is stoned” (Perry). Driving stoned impairs your driving skills and makes it hard to concentrate and know what you are doing. Scientists are trying to invent a device to show the intoxication of marijuana in a person's body. So far they are unsuccessful. Some people argue the fact that marijuana doesn’t do anything to directly kill you. I agree with that claim, but marijuana CAN indirectly harm you in small ways. As said above, while smoking marijuana your vision and thinking becomes impaired, which can make you more prone to have automobile accidents or stumble into circumstances that you normally would not be in. For instance, I have heard stories of people waking up after being stoned and not remembering how they got there. I think that as long as you do it in moderation, you will be able to handle the side effects. The human brain doesn’t stop developing until between the ages of 25 to 27, so I think the lowest age to be able to smoke marijuana should be 21, along with alcohol. Lately states are getting approval to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. Most of those states are in the western United States, where citizens are liberals, which are people who are more open to new ideas. I hope that as the next president, you make the choice of legalizing marijuana. Even if it is not legalized, people are still going to smoke it in private places. Legalizing marijuana may have some negative impacts on people’s lives, but I think more good will come of legalizing it than not.


Franklin Community High School

English 11 Honors

English 11 Honors.

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