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

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Legalization of Marijuana


The continuing debate

The facts

***** and diseases affected by marijuana use



List of illustrations

***** marijuana plant

Legislative History ***** Marijuana


Among cult films, two stand out. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with its audience-participation aspect, is one. ***** 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 *****" 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" (Reefer M*****dness Web site, 2004). While it is rare ***** find any***** who still believes one sniff of marijuana will cause insanity, there ***** still a good deal 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, one observer *****ed "A controversial 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 ***** characterize ***** attempt to legalize a ***** at least as *****ful ***** tobacco as an "assault." It ***** someth*****g of a leap to pin the entire movement on "drug law *****," 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 report, ***** Academy 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 Sciences found that the substance is a mild to moderate analgesic—a description that could be applied ***** ***** num*****r of over-the-counter drugs with much worse side effects than a mild *****—why has it not been decriminalized federally for medicinal use, at least?

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

*****: World Wide Seeds Web site

The continuing debate

It is obvious from the rhetoric 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 ***** 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 ***** California voters both approved such measures (Frater, 2001). Gen. Barry McCaffrey, ***** drug czar, said:

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

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


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