Why Not?Naim JonesSouth Suburban Community CollegeAuthor NoteThis paper was prepared for Sociology 101, Section 002, taught by Professor Richardson.

AbstractAlready, we have brought “back around” old styles of fashion and music. Now, as more of our generation begins to enter the political world we are seeing a change in policies that have held firm for almost a century. More specifically, we are seeing a change in the attitude toward marijuana and whether or not it should be legalized. During the time of illegalization of marijuana, the drug had a vastly negative feeling associated with it, which many people now believe to be inaccurate and unfair. Now that people are more informed, more connected and more vocal, the United States government should allow and even encourage more research of the dangers and addictive nature of the drug which will assuredly legalize medical use and possibly recreational use to benefit the people and the economy greatly.This paper will discuss many topics pertaining to marijuana. It will begin by explaining the history of marijuana in this country. Then it will discuss public opinion of marijuana and reasons for that opinion. Next, it will dispel false rumors about the effects of marijuana. It will then talk about a few disadvantages of marijuana. After it will counter those disadvantages with several advantages of marijuana. Next, it will discuss Colorado and Washington State’s situation since legalizing marijuana recreationally. It will then inform the reader of the other states pursuing legalization of marijuana in some degree. Finally,it will conclude with Arkansas’s take on marijuana and efforts to get it passed medically. Cannabis is a plant that is grown in many places throughout the world. It is a fast-growing plant that requires only eight to twelve weeks to mature. It chokes out most other plants grown around it and has a resistant to all but eight out of one hundred known pests. Cannabis is grown for two main reasons; for industrial hemp and for marijuana. Industrial hemp includes the seeds, stems, roots and all other parts of Cannabis except for the dried leaves. It has over 50,000 different product applications including: paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel. Marijuana is the dried leavesof Cannabis that contains high-levels of THC and can be used for many medical issues. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), is the chemical in marijuana that is also produced naturally within the human brain and controls the influence of pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. With such a lengthy list of versatile uses comes many questions all stemming from the bigger question, “What can marijuana do for us?”.The answer will become evident by responding to the following questions:What is the history of marijuana in America?How does the American public view marijuana?What are the cons of using marijuana?Are there benefits from using marijuana?What has happened to states that have already legalized pot?Throughout time the U.S. government has put many sanctions and ignorant beliefs about marijuanainto themainstream view of theAmerican public.Times have changed and problems need solving, the legalization of marijuana is the answer to more than just a few of America’s problems.

What is the history of marijuana in America?As early as the 1600’s hemp has existed in America. Back then, colonial farmers were forced to grow hemp to send back to England to be used in rope, sails, and clothing. It was not until the late nineteenth century that marijuana became popular for its medicinal uses. After the Mexican Revolution of 1910 the United States started to get its first flood of Hispanic immigrants. These immigrants introduced the possibility of using marijuana recreationally. Smoking marijuana really began to take off in the years leading up to the Great Depression. Due to this unfortunate timing, and the connection to Hispanic immigrants’ marijuana caught a lot of blame for the increased unemployment and violence in America. By 1931 twenty-nine states had made marijuana illegal and that only increased until America entered World War II in the 1941. Following the start of the war the Department of