Marijuana, Should it be Illegal?


Kyle Morin, Staff Writer

Weed, reefer, kush, ganja, pot, marijuana. These are all names for a drug considered illegal by the U.S. Federal Government. Though in some states the drug is legal for medical and recreational use, the federal law still states that use of marijuana in any form, medically or recreationally is strictly illegal and is a schedule 1 drug, meaning the drug has a high rate of abuse and no medical value. But should it be illegal? Why was marijuana made illegal and why is it slowly coming back to our world today?

In the early 20th Century, marijuana was used legally throughout the U.S. Even though it was rarely used throughout the U.S., it was still used and legal. In the 1920s marijuana was smoked across the U.S. commonly associated with immigrants, black people, or low class white people. The drug spread quickly and law enforcement officials weren’t a fan of it. They often brought up the negative and unliked effects of the drug and none of the positive effects. The people against the drug and the people mainly distributing marijuana, wrote books, made movies, and spread the word about the evil herb. In my opinion this was a form of propaganda. “The Marijuana Menace” as called by anti drug campaigners possibly were racist and disliked the usage of the drug because of the people who brought it into the states to begin with and the stance on people who didn’t have white skin in the 1900s (Riggs.Gale Encyclopedia of U.S….)

“Reefer Madness” A movie released in 1936 about marijuana, or reefer. This is a propagandic film and is used to portray terrible actions that were all supposedly caused by marijuana. The actions include, murder, rape, pedestrians hit by cars driven by people under the influence, violent thoughts due to smoking marijuana. And much more. When researched, marijuana calms the brain down and acts as a numbing agent for many mental health problems and even some physical problems. Though when abused, marijuana may be dangerous, and when overused has shown some results that depict that users who use marijuana regularly have a higher pleasure factor from marijuana than from fruits, whereas people who don’t intake marijuana as much find more pleasure in their brains from fruit rather than marijuana.

In 1937 the Marihuana Tax Act was enacted (Yes it was called the Marihuana Act with an “h”), which criminalized marijuana by possession of the drug. Though if people were medically prescribed marijuana it was legal to have possession and use of the drug. The Narcotic Control Act of 1956 criminalized the transportation of marijuana. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 built up 5 schedules to classify the illegality of drugs in the U.S.A.  Marijuana was placed as a schedule 1 drug, cocaine and heroin are also classified as schedule 1 drugs. This means the drugs have a high potential of abuse and have no medical use whatsoever, which raises a question because many of the states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical usage. So there is obviously some benefits to this drug.

In 1981 Ronald Reagan helped push against marijuana being legalized by stating, that due to medical research marijuana is “one of the most dangerous drugs in America today”.

The legalization of Marijuana holds a lot of controversy and good arguments from both sides have been made numerous times. But from my standpoint, I believe marijuana should be legal, it was criminalized and made illegal due to racist standpoints and bias opinions on the people smoking in way back in the 1930s. Whether it was a poor person or a black man, people didn’t like what these people were doing. I also believe propagandic films, books, and songs only made the popular thought of marijuana as a negative drug. The drug helps mental illness and other physical illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease. And it has been legalized for medical and recreational use in states across America. I believe it is a lot of work for the federal government to change the law and that people against the drug in the government would hold it back as well. I also believe many business such as pharmacies would be run out of business. The effects of the drug help with many many issues and certain pills and medications that solve the same problem would be against the legalization of marijuana as to make more of a profit.Though I believe no one should be smoking or intaking marijuana in high school, and I do not plan on smoking marijuana, I do not see why it is not a problem for people who need it or for adults who want to smoke it just as cigarettes are smoked or as alcohol is drank.




“Illegal Drugs.” Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History, edited by Thomas Riggs, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2015, pp. 582-585. Biography In Context, Accessed 29 May 2018.



“Marijuana Legalization.” Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History, edited by Thomas Riggs, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2015, pp. 753-756. Biography In Context, Accessed 29 May 2018.


“Medical Marijuana Treatment.” Parkinson’s Foundation,