In the United States, marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs that should have been legalized a long time ago along with alcohol. Although, 15 states in the United States have already legalized the use of marijuana, many others still lag behind at the thought of even legalizing Cannabis. In addition, many people think that marijuana is a bad drug, while on the other hand, people like myself believe for many reasons that it should be legalized. Marijuana legalization should be enforced in America for reasons such as, how Cannabis is not harmful or fatal, how it helps with health issues, how it promotes racism, and how it could benefit our country by bringing in more revenue and lowering prison costs.
First, I will talk about how marijuana isn’t a fatal drug. Marijuana is considered a drug because of the effects that it has on an individual after consumption, but unlike any other drug such as Methamphetamine, you cannot overdose on it. Methamphetamine is a white crystalline drug that people take by snorting it (inhaling through the nose), smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Crystal Meth is a dangerous and potent chemical and, as with all drugs, a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. Many people that use Meth as an everyday drug can suffer from many conditions such as seizures, insomnia, or even a loss of appetite. However, marijuana is exactly the opposite of those, it increases appetite, suppresses insomnia, and slows the rate of seizures one may suffer from. In addition to these health conditions caused by the use of Meth or Ice, “there were 1,649 such deaths over that period, and the annual rate doubled from around 150 a year to 300” (Darke, 2017). On the hand, there have been zero fatalities or accidents of that matter that have happened as a result of someone being under the influence of “Weed.” With this being said, I feel as if marijuana does not compare to meth as being considered a drug, based on the information stated above, this is just one of the many reasons why I think marijuana should be legalized.
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Secondly, I will give you examples of health related issues and how marijuana can help with them. The first medical condition I will discuss is Cancer. Cancer is the name for a group of more than 100 diseases in which cells begin to grow out of control. With is being said, there is no known cure for cancer, but from many studies we have learned that marijuana can help one cope with the disease. When one has cancer, if they consume Cannabis, it can slow down the growth of the cancer cells within their bloodstream, or it can even treat nausea that occurs as a result of Chemotherapy. Next, we will look at how marijuana helps individuals with HIV, even though yet again it does not cure the disease it just helps one with their sickness. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, this disease attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Studies suggest that “smoked marijuana has also helped improve the food intake of HIV patients (Society, 2017). Marijuana also increases weight gain among people with HIV, and it this benefits them because these patients can lose weight faster than the average person. Marijuana also increases a person’s overall sense of well-being, there is evidence that medical marijuana can greatly improve one’s adherence to HIV therapy (James Myhre, 2018). Thirdly, studies have shown that weed can help people control their seizures. “In recent years, a number a number of studies have shown that Cannabidiol helps with epilepsy, for individuals who have not yet responded to traditional therapies (Epilepsey.com). Epilepsy is a period of symptoms due to abnormally excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. Although marijuana does not cure epilepsy, it does control the amount of seizures one may have over a period of time. In addition to these medical conditions, marijuana can also help with insomnia. “Research indicates that both THC and CBD Cannabis based medicines offer effective therapies for sleep disorders, Cannabis is thought to reduce sleep latency and induce drowsiness” (Trigwell). As can be seen, marijuana can benefit people with help conditions such as cancer, HIV, epilepsy, and insomnia, so why not legalize it when it helps more than it hurts.
Thirdly, I am going to give you reasons why marijuana promotes racism. For example, take arrests for possession of marijuana, “even though there is a minimal difference in the amount of marijuana used by blacks and whites, blacks are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for smoking pot (Milloy, 2017). On the other hand, when it comes to getting a marijuana licenses, you can hardly find a black person. “Some white owned firms allege that licenses where given to unqualified white growers, while black owned firms with experienced doctors were looked over ” (Milloy, 2017). In my opinion, these are the reasons why I believe that you can assume that marijuana causes a bit of a raced war without even trying to.
Furthermore, I will give you reasons why marijuana could bring about a reform in the prison system. Studies suggest that marijuana accounts for half of all arrests made each year. “Of the 82 million drug arrests made between 2001 and 2010, 88 percent were for simply having marijuana (Liberties). These numbers account for the majority of all the inmates that are in prison today. In addition, “in 2016 more people were arrested for possession of marijuana than for all other crimes classified as violent (Ingraham, 2017).These arrests caused for the prison population to skyrocket over the last several years, with this being said, these arrests just for the possession of a herb that is not harmful. This war that Americas law enforcement has on drugs could potently cost the U.S., more money than we are bringing in, which can initially play a part in the debt that the U.S. has. Currently, marijuana enforcement costs several billion dollars per year, so why should we keep wasting money on something that cannot be stopped. Instead, we as a nation should turn the marijuana industry into an investment. It marijuana were to be removed from the list of controlled substances, we could stop the war on drugs, gain revenue, and lower prison rates. Therefore, I have given you the reasons why marijuana effects our prison system, next I will inform you on how marijuana can generate revenue.
Lastly, if marijuana were to become legalized in the U.S. it could generate a lot of revenue and possibly bring the U.S. out of this trillion dollar debt that we have accrued over the past few years. For example, “legalizing marijuana nationwide would create at least $132 billion in tax revenue and more than a million new jobs across the U.S. (Zezima). In addition to these numbers, Colorado topped $1 billion in legal marijuana sales in 2016, one year after the milestone (Jr, 2016). Colorado made 82.8 million In Cannabis sales in one month. In addition, “New Frontier’s report predicting the impact of federally legal marijuana suggests that nationwide legalization could generate 1.1 million jobs by 2025” (Krishna, 2018). Jobs such as farmers, software developers, financing services, construction companies, and many others could be obtained which in turn could also lower the unemployment rate while possibly reducing the number of people that receive government assistance. Therefore, since many states have seen the result that Colorado and Nevada have had since legalizing the drug, more states have come to realization that this could be a big break for them. California and other states have gotten on the bandwagon and have approved ballots to legalize marijuana. Therefore, marijuana could increase revenue in the U.S. by producing more jobs and lowering the government assistance rate.
In Conclusion, I feel strongly that Marijuana should become a legalized drug in the United States. Many people may say that weed is a harmful drug, but no one ever discusses how it can be beneficial also. Today, I have discussed with you how Marijuana is not a fatal drug, but how it can also help with one’s health conditions like cancer. Next, I gave you examples of how it promotes racism, lowers prison rates, and how it could generate more revenue in America. Therefore, the reasons I have explained above are just a few of the many reasons why I think weed should become a legal substance in the near future. Wouldn’t many of us agree to more job opportunities, less crime, and more ways to generate more money into our country in a legal manner?
Euripides’ Medea As A Sympathetic Character
While no one condones Medea’s actions, one can sympathize with her unappreciated sacrifices and investments in Jason’s ascension, her suffering at the hands of Jason’s pride and hubris, and future of a scorned and divorced woman in Greek Society. The action follows as Medea argues her position with the chorus, Creon and Jason. Medea’s magic enabled Jason to defeat the impossible task to reclaim his birthright. Yet, when the opportunity arose with a new marriage, Jason’s pride enables him to toss aside Medea’s love and commitment. Scorned and soon to be divorced, Medea faces a life as “property to be traded and set aside” (Medea PowerPoint, Jones). Medea seeks revenge against an unjust society. In Euripides’ Medea, we can sympathize with a woman whose husband’s ambition destroyed their love, their history, and their future.
“Why did the pines in the dells of Pelion ever fall to the ax and fill the rowing hands of heroes sent by Pelias to fetch the Golden Fleece?” Medea’s nurse laments of what is to be her tragedy. (Medea, 564). Raised by his mother in another land, Jason returns to claim his throne twenty years after Pelius murdered his father. Pelius has no intention of giving up his power so he sends Jason on an impossible mission to obtain the Golden Fleece in exchange for the throne. Jason and the Argonauts travel to Colchis, where the Golden Fleece is “hung up in a grove sacred to Ares, guarded by a serpent…” (Medea, PowerPoint, Jones). Medea’s tragedy begins when Jason arrives in Colchis, Medea’s homeland. Medea and Jason fall in love and she abandons and betrays her family to aide Jason in his quest. When they return with the Golden Fleece to Iolcus, Pelius refuses to relinquish the throne. Medea avenges Jason by subjecting Pelius to “a horrid death, perpetrated through his daughters—and overturned their home” (Medea, 592). As murderers they cannot remain in Iolcus. They travel to Corinth, settle down and raise a family of two sons and obtain a reputable name. When Jason is presented the opportunity to marry the daughter of the king, he abandons and betrays Medea in pursuit of a crown. Medea is left with exile or death as her only options. Instead, she chooses revenge.
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Medea is sympathetic because she is not only a woman, but also a foreigner in a land where her children would never be citizens. Athenian laws and traditions allowed very few rights for women. The woman’s role was to be at home. Women did not have a voice or a vote either in politics, military or any civil matter, “[W]e bid the highest price in dowries just to buy some man to be dictator of our bodies…divorce is a disgrace (at least for women), to repudiate a man, not possible.” (Medea, 577). Marriage normally raised a woman’s position. Divorce and exile would be the opposite. “She has been abandoned by her husband who made a sworn oath to the gods to be there for her.” (Medea, Powerpoint, Jones). Scorned and divorced, Medea faces a life as “property to be traded and set aside” (Medea PowerPoint, Jones). Athenian law permitted citizenship to children only if both parents were native Greeks. Because she is a foreigner, Medea’s children would never be recognized or achieve their birthright. Medea argues with the chorus. “Your case, however, and mine are not the same. You have your city. You have your father’s home. Life offers you the sweet fellowship of friends. I am alone, without a city, wronged by a husband, uprooted from a foreign land.” ( Medea, 578). The chorus is silent in sympathy.
The notion of taking care of the children falls heavily upon eliciting sympathy from Creon. He believes her motives to be that of a scorned woman and Medea protests her innocence, “And yet it frightens you: you think I’ll strike some death knell on your house. No, I’m not like that. Creon, forget your fear, I have no criminal intent against a king. For how have you wronged me?” (Medea 581). When that does not work, Medea convinces him for one more day to make provisions for her children. “Just let me stay this single day to…to arrange my exodus from here and make provision for my children; whose father cannot bring himself to care. Be kind to them. You are a father too.” (Medea 583). Even Creon cannot deny a mother this wish and the audience would sympathize making safe passage for children, especially male children.
Medea pulls on all the themes together when arguing with Jason. The traditional reason for leaving a marriage was absent. “Had you been childless, this craving for another bedmate might have been forgiven.” (Medea, 592). Medea’s convictions and in fact, that of the Greeks, were that you fear the gods as there could be grave consequences for not carrying out your oath. “But no: faith in vows simply shattered. I am baffled. Do you suppose the gods of old no longer rule?” She brings up exile and being the foreigner again, “Home to my father, perhaps, and my native land, both of whom I sacrificed for you? Or to the poor deprived daughters of Pelias? They would be overjoyed to entertain their father’s murder” (Medea, 593). Medea is playing to the traditional sympathies of Greek society. The audience would be sympathetic to a woman who sacrificed so much and endangered her own life to be betrayed by her husband.
Jason’s response would bring out even sympathy. He credits Aphrodite and not Medea for saving him on his voyage and mocks their love as mere lust “it was infatuation, sheer shooting passion, that drove you to save my life.” (Medea 595). Then he exalts his royal marriage as an “act of common sense, secondly, unselfish, and finally a mark of my devotion to you and all the family” (Medea (596). “No, it was simply that I wanted above all for us to live in comfort and not be poor. I wanted our children to be reared in a manner worthy of my ancestry; and begetting others, brothers for your sons, to knit them all together in one close happy family.” (Medea, 597). Jason’s response brings sympathy because he makes his betrayal out as something better for her, him and their children. Medea should be grateful for the new marriage. The Leader states what the audience knows, “but say what you like, it is not right to sacrifice your wife.” (Medea, 598).
Euripides’ Medea is a tragic figure trapped between the divine world and humanity. Up until the moment of revenge, she is the sympathetic heroine. She is gifted with supernatural powers but is powerless against the betrayal of love. She is an outsider who abandoned her home for love. She sacrificed her position to live as a foreigner with no birthright for her children. Her contributions are unappreciated by her husband and society. While she is so much more, she is feared as a vengeful woman. And when the only choice is death or exile, she becomes what they fear.