After nearly 75 years of marijuana prohibition, it has never before made more sense to legalize this ancient, harmless herb. Congress needs to review the law and see the plant for what it is: a plant. There are so many nation-wide advantages from legalizing it, that it seems stupid for the greatest country on Earth to make it a highly-illegal substance. It's seemingly limitless uses continue to be discovered, and we learn more about it each day. Something that can be used for everything from an alternate fuel source to treatment for glaucoma and chronic pain sufferers should definitely not be a criminalized felony, but a natural miracle.
All over the U.S. we can already see states legalizing the herb for its medicinal value, but unless it is fully legalized at a national level, we will still have otherwise innocent teens and young people being swept up and hardened by the legal system. Portugal, who recently decriminalized every known form of drug, now enjoys far less crime, very little gang violence, and even lower teen marijuana smoking rates. If it worked there, we know it can work here. Legalization would eliminate the need for dealers, and lives won't be destroyed because of a 30-year sentence for simply selling marijuana. It would also stop funding gangs with drug money so they can't buy weapons and other drugs. Another major factor pushing legalization is for the many medical advances that have been made with marijuana. Creating hunger for chemo patients and making life more bearable for people with arthritis are just a few of the ever-growing uses for the plant in the medical field. The third, and arguably most important factor in this debate, is the advantages of marijuana in the trade and agriculture industries. Hemp, a less potent form of marijuana, is one of the best natural materials on Earth, yet remains illegal to grow here in America. It can be used for paper, fiber, clothing material, and much more. Because of its fast growth and quick life cycle, it can be used as a way of clearing land without using harmful poisons or pesticides. It grows so quickly that it can be used to grow over invading plants that have taken over a foreign region, restoring the region back to how it should be. Since we currently can only import hemp, growing it here would save us millions annually, and exporting it would create jobs and stimulate the economy. Comment and say what you think.