To truly understand why marijuana should be legalized by the federal government, one must have some background knowledge of the medicinal herb. Cannabis, most commonly known as marijuana, originated in China for purely medicinal purposes. The plant later spread to India, Europe, and, finally, made its way to North America. Cannabis was first used as hemp rope and fabric, and by the 18th century marijuana began to be recognized and used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, marijuana became illegal just a short century later. As far as the legal status of marijuana today, “The Federal Controlled Substance Act classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, signifying that it has both a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use” (The Hastings Center Report). Nevertheless, several clinical studies and doctors who have obtained a Ph.D. have argued that marijuana actually provides exceptional relief in alleviating symptoms of many diseases. Marijuana should be legalized by the federal government because the herbal remedy helps to ease many symptoms of life-threatening illnesses, is non-addictive and relatively safe, and even generates new, innovative ideas in the brain.
To begin with, marijuana is much safer than other drugs, both pharmaceutical and recreational. The Marijuana Medical Handbook, written by doctors, asserts that, “Unlike other psychoactive drugs, including alcohol, Aspirin, opiates, nicotine, and caffeine, cannabis is not known to cause fatal overdoses” (1). Cigarettes alone kill millions annually, and alcohol is a frequent primary factor in fatalities. Caffeine is found in countless beverages, and is highly addictive. People commonly experience headaches from caffeine withdrawal as a result of their body’s addiction to the drug. Marijuana, on the other hand, has zero withdrawal symptoms. Its side effects include sleepiness, a feeling of euphoria, and an increased appetite. So, why are those deadly substances legal when marijuana has no fatal effects to one’s health? Tobacco use kills millions, while marijuana use alone has not been recorded to have killed a single person in history. Evidence has proven that marijuana is much safer than drugs like tobacco and alcohol. Marijuana is not a highly addictive drug; cannabis is a medicinal plant that should be legalized. With this is mind, marijuana also has many useful medicinal properties.
Marijuana’s special healing properties have been recognized by a number of doctors and studies performed. For instance, Mitchell Earleywine, who has a Ph.D in psychology, explains:
“Smoked cannabis clearly helps some problems and may cost less than other medications. Synthetic cannabinoids can also alleviate symptoms of many disorders. Data suggest that cannabinoids can work well alone; they might also function affectively as a part of a combination of therapies” (167).
Marijuana has so countless medical benefits and does not bring along the nasty side effects of medicines one would receive...