LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA
Marijuana, whose botanical name is cannabis
- It has been used by humans for thousands of years. It was classified as an illegal drug by many countries in the 20th century. Over the past two decades, there has been a growing movement to legalize marijuana,
primarily for medical purposes.
- Medical marijuana use has surged in the 16 states and the District of Columbia that allow its use.
- But states and cities are also wrestling with the question of what medical marijuana is, or should be.
- Marijuana use has particularly increased among teenagers. According to a December 2011 government report, one out of every 15 high school students smokes marijuana on a near daily basis.
- The popularity of marijuana reflects what researchers and drug officials say is a growing perception among teenagers that habitual marijuana use carries little risk of harm.
- The perception, experts say, is fueled in part by wider familiarity with medical marijuana and greater ease in obtaining it.
- Bodily effects of cannabis: 1) Eyes; 2) Mouth; 3) Skin; 4) Muscles.
- In Colorado, a proposal to legalize possession of marijuana in small amounts is likely to be on the ballot in November 2012.
- "To make our communities safer by regulating this substance, taking it out of the underground market, controlling it and better keeping it away from young people".
- The goal of legalization is not to make access to marijuana easier, said one supporter in Colorado.
- In late November 2011, the governors of Washington State and Rhode Island petitioned the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses.