Focused Inquiry I 006
10 September 2019
My research question is “Should Marijuana Be Federally Legalized?” Marijuana has been a controversial topic in the United States for many years. Marijuana was first medically legalized in California in 1996. Since 1996, many states have legalized marijuana such as Maine, Nevada, Colorado, Hawaii and twenty-seven other states. In 2012, recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington, followed by several states. Over the years, marijuana has become more prominent in society and culture. Marijuana is openly used by celebrities, referenced in entertainment such as tv and music, and also frequently referenced on mass media.
I am interested in researching this topic for many reasons. I have grown up listening to music involving marijuana usage and I personally know many people who use marijuana, therefore it is a topic that is frequently discussed by individuals around me. I want to research the health effects, benefits, and harm that can be caused by marijuana. The specific problem my topic addresses is the legalization of marijuana. This problem is important because marijuana is a legal issue which people can go to jail for. I feel that it is also important because it is a drug which individuals get addicted to, causing them to make poor life decisions. I believe that others should care about this topic because marijuana is used by a large number of people. Another reason I think people should care about this topic is because it is concerning at how many people start using marijuana at very young ages. The presence of marijuana in pop culture influences many teens to get involved with marijuana and even other drugs. Marijuana is said to be a gateway drug which is also why people should care about the topic.
There are many different routes that the argument can take, such as why or why not marijuana should be legalized, or if marijuana legalization is helpful or harmful to the economy. Some possible positions I may encounter for marijuana legalization are that marijuana should be legalized in order to save a large portion of the federal criminal justice budget, marijuana should be legalized because it is a natural plant and it is not a drug made in a lab, marijuana should be legalized if alcohol is legal, marijuana helps with stress and other issues, or even that marijuana legalization could create jobs. Some positions for anti-legalization could include that marijuana is a gateway drug and will only cause people to do more drugs, marijuana is an addictive substance which causes people to be unproductive, and lastly, marijuana usage damages brain cells and is detrimental to an individual’s health.