Legalize Cannabis!

Are writing to you to ask you to consider legalizing marijuana or reclassifying it as a Schedule III drug. I have some sound reasoning, I believe, behind my support of legalizing and taxing marijuana.

A Note: Marijuana's medical benefits are widely recognized and accepted today. Out of concern for space, this letter will only briefly cover the medical benefits, although that does not make them any less important than the other reasons listed. Medical benefits of marijuana have equal weight with the other, less direct benefits.

Marijuana is not as dangerous as the other drugs available today. Cocaine, methamphetamines and ecstasy are readily available to our children today. Many minors smoke crack, do meth (or at least know where to get it) and pop ecstasy and acid. It breaks my heart. Reclassifying marijuana would allow law enforcement to focus on the truly dangerous drugs that will kill our children, if given the chance. There are zero reported deaths attributable solely to marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would allow us to regulate it better and keep it out of our children's hands. Cigarettes are legal and regulated and there is only one way for a minor to get them - find a legal adult who is willing to risk the felony to buy the minor a pack of smokes. Same with alcohol. Children don't need an ID to get marijuana. It's so easy for a kid to procure marijuana that children make up the majority of dealers!

            Marijuana does not cause any permanent, lasting damage, only a temporary impairment of short term memory. This lasts as long as the high, generally. Occasionally, a user may experience temporary toxic psychosis. This is extremely rare and almost always happens when marijuana is eaten, rather than smoked. There is no permanent damage. 

            Marijuana smoke does not create obstruction in the lung's small airway, unlike heavy tobacco users, which would lead one to believe that marijuana users, even heavy marijuana users, have no increased risk of emphysema. I've heard over and over again that marijuana kills brain cells. It doesn't. It will not make you stupid or impair one's learning ability. No study has ever demonstrated cellular damage, stupidity, mental impairment, or insanity brought on specifically by marijuana use - even heavy marijuana use. 

            Cigarettes are legal for adults eighteen years of age. As cigarettes are highly addictive to everyone that smokes them - even one can get you hooked - it is guaranteed that cigarettes will kill a large number of cigarette smokers. There are zero marijuana-related deaths. Alcohol is legal for adults over the age of twenty-one. In 2006, a total of 22,073 persons died of alcohol-induced causes in the United States. This category includes not only deaths from dependent and nondependent use of alcohol, but also accidental poisoning by alcohol. There were 85,000 total alcohol-related deaths in the United States. This includes deaths in the above category and also includes drunk driving-related deaths and homicides, etcetera, involving persons intoxicated by alcohol. I repeat, there have been zero marijuana-related deaths in the history of the United States. Knowing this, it just baffles me that anyone would have such a problem with legalizing it! I don't know if you've ever smoked a cigarette, but I can almost guarantee that if you're a free, American citizen over 21, you have had a beer at least once in your lifetime. If you're like the average American, you really enjoyed that beer and have had one more than once. There's no shame in that. It's your right as a free American citizen. With that said, shouldn't it be my right, as a free adult American citizen to use a substance 85,000 times less dangerous than legal alcohol?           

            It is impossible to overdose on marijuana. Marijuana is also not physically addictive. Whereas a cocaine, meth or heroine addict will experience severe withdrawals, which often influences their ability to quit the drug successfully. Marijuana is not a gateway drug. It is true that most users of other, harder drugs smoke marijuana. It is also true that most marijuana smokers only smoke marijuana. The reason that most users of hard drugs also smoke marijuana is not because it's a gateway drug. It's simply because marijuana, being safer, less noticeable and more enjoyable with fewer lasting or negative side effects, is the most popular recreational drug available. 

            Students who get convicted for possession of marijuana lose their financial aid. This includes not only those convicted of distributing or manufacturing marijuana, but also those who got caught with 1.0 gram of marijuana for personal use and are on their way home, causing no disturbance to the community, but perhaps caught the police officer on a bad day. They just lost their college education. If they want to go to college, they now have to take out extravagant student loans and possibly land themselves in debt for the rest of their life. More debt is just what America needs. This happens all the time. It's not a rare, every here and there someone is in this situation kind of thing. It happens all the time, all over the United States. Thousands of people that could have been of great service and benefit to our nation, but won't be because the chance to learn how was taken from them. The United States rates for college graduations are shamed only by Italy. Less than half of the people who enroll in college will graduate. How many of them will not graduate because they lost their financial aid for a minor marijuana conviction halfway through, but were doing an absolutely amazing job in school? These people could be the ones to change the world, to find the cure for AIDS or cancer, to provide a lasting solution to global poverty or hunger - these could have been the Albert Einsteins of the next generation - but they won't be. We took that from them. 

            Legalizing and taxing marijuana and hemp may not single handedly save our nation's economy, however, I think America's economy is in deep kimchi and could use all the help it can get. The United States would be moronic and nonsensical to not consider making a change that would help our finances substantially! How much money could the government make if marijuana was reclassified, regulated and taxed? How much money would the government save not having to deal with petty nonviolent marijuana convictions and jailings that suck up money, time and space in already overcrowded jails and prisons? How much easier would it be to keep it out of the hands of our children if it required an ID to buy or an adult willing to risk severe criminal penalties, a felony, for buying it for a minor? I would say child use of marijuana could be cut in half, easily, just by legalizing, regulating and taxing it. 

            One out of every six federal inmates is in federal prison for marijuana. In 2005 more than 780,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana related charges (FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2005). An estimated 112,085,000 Americans aged 12 or over (46.1% of the US population aged 12 or over) report having used an illicit drug at least once in their lifetimes. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) Does this mean that 46% of Americans belong in jail? Of course not! 

Ending prohibition of cannabis/hemp will enable us to free up police to investigate violent crimes, save court costs and prison expenses. How much money could we save?

It is a fact that the majority of marijuana offenses are nonviolent offenses. Under the laws of fifteen states you can get a life sentence for a nonviolent marijuana offense. It is possible, under federal law to get the death sentence for a first time, non violent large-scale marijuana offense. That is simply inhumane. I am not against the death penalty, to tell you the truth. However, I think it should only be used for violent offenses. Those are the people we want off our streets - the ones who pose a risk to another individual's safety. Non violent offenders do not, under almost any circumstances, deserve the death penalty. It is not our place to choose who lives and who dies, but if we're going to do it, we cannot go crazy with it. These are things that have to change. 

Cannabis fibers can be used as less expensive materials for auto production: body panels, interiors, plastic components like dashboards and console covers and even the foam padding in the seats! Henry Ford did it 70 years ago. With the past seventy years to develop our scientific, manufacturing and technological knowledge and the amazing advancement we have seen, what could we do with cannabis/hemp?

Ending prohibition of cannabis/hemp will enable us to stop cutting down our North American old growth forests and our South American rainforests and to let them begin to repair themselves.

We need to stop using "alternative fuels" and go back to annually renewable fuels like hemp seed oil in the millions of diesel engines in the trucks on our highways. We need to tune our cars to run on hemp ethanol and start to wean ourselves off of oil. Eventually, we can completely replace oil and end our reliance on foreign countries for our transportation fuel needs entirely.

By legalizing and growing cannabis, we can help recycle the excess carbon dioxide in the air that we have released through the use of fossil fuels. We could spread cannabis quickly and efficiently, lowering our dependence on oil, wood from old growth forests and rainforests - leaving a noticeably smaller carbon footprint.

George Washington, Queen Victoria and Henry Ford all used cannabis/hemp in one way or another. I don't think they did too badly with their lives, did they?

            I'm not asking you to change your mind on this subject right now, if you are opposed to it. However, I do believe that persons in positions of authority should be able to keep an open mind and objectively view all information presented to them and make an unbiased decision based on the facts. I believe that persons in positions of authority within our law enforcement and government should remember that they do not represent only one group of people, but hundreds of groups of people, all with differing beliefs, values and moralities and they must find a way to balance the people's wishes. I understand it is impossible to make everyone happy. My wish is for you to go over the information presented with an open mind, do some research and let your opinion change, if you decide the facts warrant such a change. 

            Thank you so much for your time.

We the undersigned,

Are writing to you to ask you to consider legalizing marijuana or reclassifying it as a Schedule III drug. I have some sound reasoning, I believe, behind my support of legalizing and taxing marijuana.

A Note: Marijuana's medical benefits are widely recognized and accepted today. Out of concern for space, this letter will only briefly cover the medical benefits, although that does not make them any less important than the other reasons listed. Medical benefits of marijuana have equal weight with the other, less direct benefits.

Marijuana is not as dangerous as the other drugs available today. Cocaine, methamphetamines and ecstasy are readily available to our children today. Many minors smoke crack, do meth (or at least know where to get it) and pop ecstasy and acid. It breaks my heart. Reclassifying marijuana would allow law enforcement to focus on the truly dangerous drugs that will kill our children, if given the chance. There are zero reported deaths attributable solely to marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would allow us to regulate it better and keep it out of our children's hands. Cigarettes are legal and regulated and there is only one way for a minor to get them - find a legal adult who is willing to risk the felony to buy the minor a pack of smokes. Same with alcohol. Children don't need an ID to get marijuana. It's so easy for a kid to procure marijuana that children make up the majority of dealers!

Marijuana does not cause any permanent, lasting damage, only a temporary impairment of short term memory. This lasts as long as the high, generally. Occasionally, a user may experience temporary toxic psychosis. This is extremely rare and almost always happens when marijuana is eaten, rather than smoked. There is no permanent damage. 

Marijuana smoke does not create obstruction in the lung's small airway, unlike heavy tobacco users, which would lead one to believe that marijuana users, even heavy marijuana users, have no increased risk of emphysema. I've heard over and over again that marijuana kills brain cells. It doesn't. It will not make you stupid or impair one's learning ability. No study has ever demonstrated cellular damage, stupidity, mental impairment, or insanity brought on specifically by marijuana use - even heavy marijuana use. 

Cigarettes are legal for adults eighteen years of age. As cigarettes are highly addictive to the majority of smokers - even one can get you hooked - it is guaranteed that cigarettes will kill a large number of cigarette smokers. There are zero marijuana-related deaths. Alcohol is legal for adults over the age of twenty-one. In 2006, a total of 22,073 persons died of alcohol-induced causes in the United States. This category includes not only deaths from dependent and nondependent use of alcohol, but also accidental poisoning by alcohol. There were 85,000 total alcohol-related deaths in the United States. This includes deaths in the above category and also includes drunk driving-related deaths and homicides, etcetera, involving persons intoxicated by alcohol. I repeat, there have been zero marijuana-related deaths in the history of the United States. Knowing this, it just baffles me that anyone would have such a problem with legalizing it! I don't know if you've ever smoked a cigarette, but I can almost guarantee that if you're a free, American citizen over 21, you have had a beer at least once in your lifetime. If you're like the average American, you really enjoyed that beer and have had one more than once. There's no shame in that. It's your right as a free American citizen. With that said, shouldn't it be my right, as a free adult American citizen to use a substance 85,000 times less dangerous than legal alcohol?           

It is impossible to overdose on marijuana. Marijuana is also not physically addictive. Whereas a cocaine, meth or heroine addict will experience severe withdrawals, which often influences their ability to quit the drug successfully. Marijuana is not a gateway drug. It is true that most users of other, harder drugs smoke marijuana. It is also true that most marijuana smokers only smoke marijuana. The reason that most users of hard drugs also smoke marijuana is not because it's a gateway drug. It's simply because marijuana, being safer, less noticeable and more enjoyable with fewer lasting or negative side effects, is the most popular recreational drug available. 

Students who get convicted for possession of marijuana lose their financial aid. This includes not only those convicted of distributing or manufacturing marijuana, but also those who got caught with 1.0 gram of marijuana for personal use and are on their way home, causing no disturbance to the community, but perhaps caught the police officer on a bad day. They just lost their college education. If they want to go to college, they now have to take out extravagant student loans and possibly land themselves in debt for the rest of their life. More debt is just what America needs. This happens all the time. It's not a rare, every here and there someone is in this situation kind of thing. It happens all the time, all over the United States. Thousands of people that could have been of great service and benefit to our nation, but won't be because the chance to learn how was taken from them. The United States rates for college graduations are shamed only by Italy. Less than half of the people who enroll in college will graduate. How many of them will not graduate because they lost their financial aid for a minor marijuana conviction halfway through, but were doing an absolutely amazing job in school? These people could be the ones to change the world, to find the cure for AIDS or cancer, to provide a lasting solution to global poverty or hunger - these could have been the Albert Einsteins of the next generation - but they won't be. We took that from them. 

Legalizing and taxing marijuana and hemp may not single handedly save our nation's economy, however, I think America's economy is in deep kimchi and could use all the help it can get. The United States would be moronic and nonsensical to not consider making a change that would help our finances substantially! How much money could the government make if marijuana was reclassified, regulated and taxed? How much money would the government save not having to deal with petty nonviolent marijuana convictions and jailings that suck up money, time and space in already overcrowded jails and prisons? How much easier would it be to keep it out of the hands of our children if it required an ID to buy or an adult willing to risk severe criminal penalties, a felony, for buying it for a minor? I would say child use of marijuana could be cut in half, easily, just by legalizing, regulating and taxing it. 

One out of every six federal inmates is in federal prison for marijuana. In 2005 more than 780,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana related charges (FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2005). An estimated 112,085,000 Americans aged 12 or over (46.1% of the US population aged 12 or over) report having used an illicit drug at least once in their lifetimes. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) Does this mean that 46% of Americans belong in jail? Of course not! 

Ending prohibition of cannabis/hemp will enable us to free up police to investigate violent crimes, save court costs and prison expenses. How much money could we save?

It is a fact that the majority of marijuana offenses are nonviolent offenses. Under the laws of fifteen states you can get a life sentence for a nonviolent marijuana offense. It is possible, under federal law to get the death sentence for a first time, non violent large-scale marijuana offense. That is simply inhumane. I am not against the death penalty, to tell you the truth. However, I think it should only be used for violent offenses. Those are the people we want off our streets - the ones who pose a risk to another individual's safety. Non violent offenders do not, under almost any circumstances, deserve the death penalty. It is not our place to choose who lives and who dies, but if we're going to do it, we cannot go crazy with it. These are things that have to change. 

Cannabis fibers can be used as less expensive materials for auto production: body panels, interiors, plastic components like dashboards and console covers and even the foam padding in the seats! Henry Ford did it 70 years ago. With the past seventy years to develop our scientific, manufacturing and technological knowledge and the amazing advancement we have seen, what could we do with cannabis/hemp?

Ending prohibition of cannabis/hemp will enable us to stop cutting down our North American old growth forests and our South American rainforests and to let them begin to repair themselves.

We need to stop using "alternative fuels" and go back to annually renewable fuels like hemp seed oil in the millions of diesel engines in the trucks on our highways. We need to tune our cars to run on hemp ethanol and start to wean ourselves off of oil. Eventually, we can completely replace oil and end our reliance on foreign countries for our transportation fuel needs entirely.

By legalizing and growing cannabis, we can help recycle the excess carbon dioxide in the air that we have released through the use of fossil fuels. We could spread cannabis quickly and efficiently, lowering our dependence on oil, wood from old growth forests and rainforests - leaving a noticeably smaller carbon footprint.

George Washington, Queen Victoria and Henry Ford all used cannabis/hemp in one way or another. I don't think they did too badly with their lives, did they?

One last thing: There are legal smokes available today, known as "spice". Spice is unregulated and often does not contain the ingredients that the manufacturers claim to be in it. It may contain a synthetic cannabinoid four or five times as potent as THC. It carries many health risks, not the least of which is death, and is outlawed in several countries. Yet, while cannabis, which is much safer and has zero related deaths, is illegal, this deadly, unregulated and unsafe "spice" is legal and available for purchase throughout the United States. Maybe it's just me, but there's something wrong with this picture!

I'm not asking you to change your mind on this subject right now, if you are opposed to it. However, I do believe that persons in positions of authority should be able to keep an open mind and objectively view all information presented to them and make an unbiased decision based on the facts. I believe that persons in positions of authority within our law enforcement and government should remember that they do not represent only one group of people, but hundreds of groups of people, all with differing beliefs, values and moralities and they must find a way to balance the people's wishes. I understand it is impossible to make everyone happy. My wish is for you to go over the information presented with an open mind, do some research and let your opinion change, if you decide the facts warrant such a change. 

Thank you so much for your time.

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