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

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Legalization of Marijuana


The continuing debate

The facts

Disorders and diseases affected by marijuana use



List ***** illustrations

Medicinal marijuana plant

Legislative History of Marijuana


Among 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 document*****ry about the evils of the Demon Weed. It possesses, "a dated outlook on marijuana use" and "foc*****s ***** 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 any***** who still believes one sniff of marijuana will cause insanity, there ***** still a good de*****l of reefer madness around, but now it concerns whether to legalize the relatively harmless drug for medicinal use, or not. For example, in a 2001 report, ***** observer noted "A controversi*****l assault on ***** nation's war on illegal drugs started in 1996, when a well-organized and well-funded coalition of drug law reformers and grass-roots activists put legalization of 'medical marijuana' on the ballots in California and *****rizona" (Frater). It was quite a leap to characterize ***** attempt to legalize a drug at least as *****ful as tobacco as an "*****sault." It was someth*****g ***** a leap to pin the entire movement on "drug law reformers," especially in light of research ***** the United St*****es National Academy of Sciences that placed marijuana in a category of useful drugs, ***** mild ones at that. In a 1999 report, the ***** noted *****, "In gener*****l, cannabinoids seem to be mild to moderate analgesics" (Institute of Medicine, Ch. 4, NAS Web site).

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

Figure: Medicinal ***** Plant

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

The continuing debate

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

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

Once again, the rhetoric gets in the way of the facts; *****'s judgment is solid accord*****g to h***** own claims, and certainly not those of medical science or o*****ion polls. As for having *****,


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