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 of illustrations

***** 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 meant to be a document*****ry about the evils of the Demon Weed. It possesses, "a dated outlook on marijuana use" and "focuses ***** 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" (Reefer M*****dness Web site, 2004). While it is rare to find any***** who still believes one sniff of marijuana will cause insanity, *****re is still 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, ***** observer noted "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 *****rizona" (Frater). It was quite a le*****p to characterize the attempt ***** legalize a drug ********** least as useful as tobacco ***** an "*****." It was someth*****g of a leap to pin the entire movement on "drug law *****," especially in light of research by the United States National Academy of Sciences that placed marijuana in a category of useful drugs, and mild ones at that. In a 1999 report, ***** ***** 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 ***** substance is a mild ***** moder*****te analgesic—a description that could be applied to ***** number of over-the-counter drugs with much worse side effects than a mild *****—why h*****s it not been decriminalized federally for medicinal use, at least?

Figure: Medicinal Marijuana Plant

Source: World Wide Seeds Web *****

The ***** debate

It is obvious from the rhetoric that Frater's publisher, 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 law 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, ***** drug czar, said:

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

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


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