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Free «Formulating Research Questions» Essay Sample

Area of interest

Criminal justice is broad term that encompasses a number of disciplines (Bachman & Schutt, 2011). The writer chooses to focus on the area of crime and social policy, and in particular legalization of marijuana. Traditional societies, including agricultural and rural that are not economically developed have less property crime and more violent crimes as compared to the developed societies. Violent crimes, such as assault, murder and rape within the traditional societies, are common and accepted as part of the daily living. However, with modernization of these societies, the violent crimes have become unacceptable and rare.

Marijuana, also known as cannabis sativa, had its first case documented around 2500 B.C. among Chinese cultures. It was noted that once ingested, the plant produces mild elation that was considered as a pain reliever (Caulkins et al., 2012). This saw its use as a pain killer spread across cultures in the world. On the other hand, United Nations’ statistics indicate that marijuana is among the widely used illegal substances across the globe. Marijuana was first introduced in the United States during establishment of British colonies in North America. The substance was used by medical practitioners as pain reliever and to induce appetite. On the other hand, some citizens used the substance for recreational purposes. As a result, most federations, particularly the Federal Government of the United States, deemed it right to carry out a research on the use and impacts of marijuana. From the findings, both production and use of the substance were harmful to the morality and culture of the citizens. To end production and use of marijuana in the United States, in 1937 the Federal Government introduced the Marijuana Tax Act. The Act was meant to impose lofty taxes to the cannabis sativa industry to attain termination. 



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This Act brought about controversies in the production and use of marijuana. Some people and institutions were in support of the Act while others were against it. For example, the American Medical Association largely opposed legislation arguing that the substance is of high medicinal value. However, the government pursued its efforts instituting hefty fines and jail terms for producing or using marijuana. Studies reveal that in the 1970s less strict policies were introduced but they did not last for long as they faced opposition from various institutions (Caulkins et al., 2012). It is important to note that production and use of marijuana is legal in some states such as California. 

Research Question

Following the controversies surrounding marijuana whereby some people support its legalization whereas others oppose legalization of marijuana, the researcher aims to investigate the research question – should marijuana be legalized or not. It has been argued that legalization of marijuana has more benefits as compared to its effects.

Significance of the Study

With an in-depth study of marijuana, weighing its pros and cons, the researcher hopes to get comprehensive information to come up with an informed decision. Additionally, the research will help other researchers in the field through provision of informed data to broaden their perspectives with regard to the research question.

Research Design

This includes the methodology and procedure used to carry out scientific research. The researcher will employ secondary data. This will entail an evaluation of the past researches and case studies to determine the claims put forth with regards to the research question. According to studies, various studies as well as case studies have been carried out on whether or not marijuana should be legalized. It is of interest that drug policies have been introduced to control the use and production of marijuana. The study will take into consideration the claims put forth either in support or against legalization of marijuana. The researcher aims to use information from past researchers so as to avoid giving biased results. 


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