500 words APA format with references

 
It  seems as if the topic of legalization of marijuana will never end. As  discussed in “The Reefer Madness Effect,” the legalization of marijuana  is still a hot topic up for debate. Its legalization scares the lives of  part of the public, including law enforcement. Some of the discussion  up for debate was whether the legalization is beneficial to the public  the way people are saying it is. One of the news anchors in the film  made a valid point about her tax dollars will have to go towards help  supplying the drug that her and others do not approve of its  legalization. Whether its use is medical or recreational, our tax  dollars will be used to pay for the drug that not all approve of. Where  is the fairness in that?
Another  point that was made on the film sounded as if they were for benefiting  the illegal drug cartels. Making marijuana, the sell and use of it,  legal to the public will benefit the drug cartels. It will make it less  dangerous for them and easier for supply and demand of the drug. They  will benefit financially off its legalization but us as U.S. citizens  will being paying for it will our hard-earned tax dollars. 
With  all this talk about marijuana, what makes it a drug? Marijuana is  considered under the Schedule 1 drugs according to the United States  Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Drugs listed under this are considered to  have high potential for abuse, the drug has no current accepted medical  treatment us in the U.S., and there is lack of accepted safety for its  use under medical supervision. This however is contradictory to the fact  that marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been made legal for  personal, recreational, and medical use in some states. This is  interesting considering the other drugs listed under as Schedule 1 which  includes heroin, LSD, mescaline, MDMA, GHB, ecstasy, psilocybin,  methaqualone, khat, and bath salts (Anderson, 2014). With the long list  of other Schedule 1 drugs, marijuana as being a part of it, there has  not been any recorded accounts of someone overdosing on marijuana, like  there has been for the others. 
In  terms of what we know about how legalizing marijuana, we do not know  the exact affects it will have on society. We do know there are some  medical uses that marijuana offers, but there are some harmful effects.  Those harmful effects include: marijuana is dangerous and addictive  (dependency), causes bronchitis and lung complications, harmful to  brains that are still in development (younger individuals), increases  risk of psychosis, serves as a gateway drug, its potency has increased,  and dangerous for recovering alcoholics and addicts (Ventrell, 2014).
Many  Americans have reached the point where they feel it is time to change  the policy regarding marijuana. Majority of Americans are now in favor  of legalizing and would be more likely to vote for it if it was listed  on a ballot (Anderson, 2014). Thus far, twenty states, including  Washington, D.C., have legalized the sale of medical marijuana. Colorado  and Washington have legalized its use recreationally, but Washington  has not implemented the law. 
The  use of marijuana is no longer a surprising epidemic for society.  Society has socially constructed its views on marijuana as it being a  norm now. You can walk by someone and smell marijuana on them and not  think much about it. Regarding other Schedule 1 drugs, heroin for  example, you would be appalled to see someone under the influence of it.  When you think back to the 1960s, illicit drugs were just as socially  acceptable as they are now. It is just a new generation expanding on its  use and capabilities of these illicit drugs. 

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