The paper 'Marijuana Should Be Illegal in the United States' is a wonderful example of a research proposal.
Marijuana refers to the dry leaves of the female flowers of Cannabis Sativa plant which are used to as a narcotic drug or hallucinogen. Marijuana is obtained from the dry leaves of Cannabis Sativa which are also known as the hemp plant. The drug has several nicknames that are used to refer to it by different people in various places in a bid to offer some disguise. Some of the nicknames include grass, weed, MJ, pot, reefer, Mary Jane among others (Nagle, 460). The legalization of illegalization of marijuana has been the center of debate in many forums in the United States which proponents and opponents offering different views to support their views. Proponents for legalization have argued that the drug has high medicinal value. They have further argued that legalization will prevent misuse of the drug that leads to negative consequences (Caulkins, et. al, 56). Legalization will make it easy to ensure control of the distribution and marketing of the drug. Those against legalization have argued their case based on the negative impacts that the drug has on the life of its users.
Reasons for selecting this topic.
The desire to handle this research topic was influenced by the increasing debate on whether Marijuana should be legalized or not. This was further initiated by the fact that less research has been conducted on this topic leading to the irrational decisions being made. Personal experience has further led me to consider this topic as the issue of Marijuana has led to the death of one person in my family. This research paper will assist me in educating the public including those who are closely related to me so that they can understand why Marijuana should not be legalized.
Reasons why Marijuana should not be legalized
Marijuana has harmful effects on human health hence should not be legalized. The drug is found to be more toxic than the smoke from cigarettes. Regular users of marijuana are likely to face worse lung infections compared to those who smoke a cigarette. The drug may cause sterility in both men and women which can be temporary in the short-run but may be permanent if the users persist in using the drug. Women who smoke marijuana may give birth to children with mental abnormalities, birth defects and increased risk of developing leukemia (Gerber, 011-027).
Legalization of Marijuana will not lead to the end of the drug cartels and the black market as has been argued by proponents of legalization. A recent report by the RAND indicated that the drug trafficking cartel from Mexico is only earning between 15 and 25 percent of their revenues from the sale of Marijuana. If the drug is legalized then the black market will still thrive and increase its revenues from the sale of Marijuana in the legal markets (Nagle, 290).
Marijuana has been reported to be the leading cause of substance abuse in the United States which has risen above alcohol. In the year 2008, the drug accounted for about 4.2 million out of the 7 million people who have succumbed to drug and substance abuse. The statistics indicate that close to two-thirds of people in the United States who are suffering from drug abuse are due to marijuana. Legalizing Marijuana will lead to an increase in the number of people who are likely to use marijuana or depend on it.
Historical background of marijuana
The use of marijuana as an agent of the achievement of euphoria has been in existence since time immemorial. The Chinese trace its use from 2737 B.C in which it was applied as a medical aid. Its use as a medicinal herb spread from China to parts of India then to North Africa and later to the European countries. In North America, marijuana was mainly grown as a source of fiber. Its growth intensified in North America during the Second World War after its supply from Asia was terminated. The drug was listed as a form of anesthesia in the United States in the period between 1850 and 1942 in which it was used during labor pains, rheumatism, and nausea.
In the 1930s, health organizations began a move that was aimed at portraying the drug as a very addictive substance that is likely to result in the addiction of narcotics. In the year 1970, the United States Congress came up with the Controlled Substances Act that ranked marijuana together with heroin as a Schedule drug that had the highest level of abuse potential and did not bear any medicinal value. Serious prohibition against the use of the drug was witnessed in the 1980s to 1990s (Cermak, 124). This period saw a decrease in the rate of importation of the drug and an increase in the local plantations of the drug. Marijuana has since been illegal in the United States despite the increasing debate for its legalization. Some states have since lowered their hard stance on the drug.
Statement of the thesis of the research paper
As observed in the background information, the use of marijuana started a long period of time and it has been used for various purposes ranging from medicinal value to a narcotic drug. The use of marijuana is bound to continue whether the drug is legalized or declared illegal as has been the case in many parts of the United States. There has been substantial research work to establish the pros and cons of the legalization of marijuana (Iversen, 907). However, a sharp division still exists as both sides of the argument seem to carry similar weight leading to a dilemma as to whether it should be legalized or not. Despite the finding of previous works, the problem still exists in making of final stand on the use of marijuana. This paper seeks to offer support to the fact that marijuana should remain illegal in the United States. A knowledge gap thus exists in the establishment of the factors for making marijuana illegal as opposed to legalizing it. There is a need to consider both sides of the effects of the use of marijuana so as to come up with a concrete basis for not legalizing the drug.
Significance of the study
This study aims at finding out the underlying factors that surrounds marijuana and why it should not be legalized. As much as its use has indicated some benefits that have not been fully proven scientifically, the focus needs to be shifted towards its negative effects on both the society and the economy. This research will aid policymakers and other strategists on coming up with policies restricting the use of marijuana which are backed with concrete evidence.
Scope and Limitations of the study
The scope of this research paper will be limited to the data obtained in the period between 1980 to the present. The paper will be limited by time constraints as well as resources need ed to conduct a lengthy data collection process hence it will heavily rely on secondary sources of data that include journals, peer-reviewed articles, and books. The main focus will be on the analysis of the use of marijuana and its effects on society both short-term and long-term.
Caulkins, Jonathan P, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer, and Mark Kleiman. Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know. , 2012. Print.
Cermak, Timmen L. Marijuana: What's a Parent to Believe?Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2003. Print.
Gerber, Rudolph J. Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2004. Print.
Iversen, Leslie L. The Science of Marijuana. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Internet resource.
Nagle, Jeanne M. Marijuana. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2008. Print.