Research Paper Decriminalization Of Marijuana

1691 words - 7 pages

Marijuana is a drug obtained from dried and crumpled parts of the universal hemp plant Cannabis sativa (or Cannabis indicia). It is smoked by rolling in tobacco paper, or by placing it in a pipe. It is also otherwise consumed worldwide by an estimated 200,000,000 persons for pleasure, an escape from reality, or relaxation. Marijuana is known by a variety of names such as in the United States, marijuana is called pot, grass, weed, Mary Jane, etc. The main active principle of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol. The question of marijuana being legalized has been a very controversial issue for a long time. It's been controversial because of the bad track record it has sustained over the years. Marijuana is considered to be a schedule one drug. That means that it has a high potential for abuse and lacks an acceptance for legal medical use, as it is clearly stated under the controlled substance act. However there're many pros and cons to whether it should be legalized or not.One advantage of Marijuana is that it "can relieve pain where other drugs or techniques have failed, opening the door to all of the healing benefits and increased life options of pain relief. Cannabis also has direct beneficial physiological impacts on certain diseases such as glaucoma, migraine, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy."(Dr. Potter, Beverly (1998) The healing magic of cannabis. Berkeley, CA: Ronin Publishing INC.)Marijuana is also known to help victims of various other diseases in various different ways. Pro marijuana legalization groups such as the Physician's Association for AIDS care & National Lymphoma Foundation believe that marijuana should be legalized in order to treat terminally ill patients. Among them are AIDS victims, who find that marijuana stimulates their appetites so that they can fight off dangerous emaciation.Marijuana has also been proven to be less harmful than other legal drugs. Legalizing it might decrease violence and crime, boost our economy, and allow its use as an effective form of medicine for the treatment of many fatal illnesses. "Every year, 400,000 Americans die of complications caused by tobacco products."(S. Michels, letter, September 4th,1999) Smoking kills more Americans each year than alcohol, crack, heroin, murder, suicide, car accidents, fires, and AIDS all put together. Alcohol abuse contributes to almost 50% of all traffic accidents, suicides, and homicides. Drinking also is known to cause liver damage and liver cancer, which is in many cases fatal. The bottom line is that tobacco and alcohol are very high-risk drugs, much higher than marijuana. However, despite the proven dangers of these "socially acceptable" drugs, they are still legal. Research has yet to pin any specific dangers to marijuana and it still remains illegal while the dangerous drugs with proven effects remain legal. Alcohol prohibition tore America apart once and now it is the war on drugs, particularly marijuana. Harsh laws and the threat of lengthy jail...

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