Essay - Legalization of Marijuana Introduction the Continuing Debate the Facts Disorders...

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Legalization of Marijuana


The continuing debate

***** facts

Disorders and diseases affected by marijuana use



List of illustrations

Medicinal marijuana plant

Legislative History ***** Marijuana


***** cult films, two stand out. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with its audience-participation aspect, is one. The other is Reefer Madness, a 1936 film me*****nt to be a documentary about the evils of the Demon Weed. It possesses, "a dated outlook on marijuana use" and "focuses on almost slapstick scenes of high school kids smoking pot and quickly going insane, playing 'evil' jazz music, being committed, and going on a murder spree" (***** Madness Web site, 2004). While it is rare to find anyone who still believes one sniff of marijuana will cause insanity, there is ***** a good deal ***** reefer madness around, but now it concerns whether ***** legalize the relatively harmless drug for medicinal use, or not. For example, in a 2001 report, one observer *****ed "A controversial assault on ***** nation's war on illegal drugs started in 1996, when a well-org*****nized and well-funded coalition of drug law reformers and grass-roots activists put legalization of 'medical marijuana' on the ballots in California and Arizona" (Frater). It was quite a leap to characterize ***** attempt to legalize a drug *****t least as useful as tobacco ***** an "*****." It was someth*****g of a leap to pin the entire movement on "drug law reformers," especially in light of research ***** the United States Nati*****al Academy of Sciences that placed marijuana in a category of useful drugs, and mild ones at that. In a 1999 *****, the ***** noted that, "In general, cannab*****oids seem to be mild to moderate analgesics" (Institute of Medicine, Ch. 4, NAS Web site).

If the National Academy of ***** found that the substance is a mild to moderate analgesic—a description ***** could be applied ***** any number of over-the-counter drugs with much worse side effects than a mild high—why has it not been decriminalized federally for medicinal use, at least?

*****: Medicinal ***** Plant

*****: World Wide Seeds Web s*****e

***** ***** debate

It is obvious from the rhetoric that *****'s publ*****her, The National Journal, has taken a stand against legalizing medical marijuana, despite the publication's claim to be non-partisan. It is hard to support ***** stance that legalization was desired by 'drug ***** reformers' when, as Frater noted, Bill Clinton's administration mobilized to prevent state approvals of medical ***** in other states after Arizona and California voters both approved such me*****ures (Frater, 2001). Gen. Barry McCaffrey, ***** drug czar, said:

My own solid judgment was that there were a... small number of people, a few hundred, who ***** determ*****ed to make the use ***** smoked marijuana more tolerated, legal, readily available.... They've got money, and ********** got energy (Frater, 2001).

Once again, the rhetoric gets in the way of the facts; *****'s ***** is solid accord*****g to h***** own *****s, and certainly not t*****ose of ***** science or opinion polls. As for having *****,


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