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. 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 *****" 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" (***** M*****dness Web site, 2004). While it is rare to 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 ***** legalize the relatively harmless drug for medicinal use, or not. For example, in a 2001 report, one observer noted "A controversial assault on the nation's war on illegal drugs started in 1996, when a well-org*****nized and well-funded coalition of drug law re*****mers 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 useful as tobacco as an "assault." It ***** someth*****g ***** a leap to pin the entire movement on "drug law reformers," especially in light of research ***** the United States National Academy of Sciences that placed marijuana in a category of useful drugs, and mild ones at that. In a 1999 *****, the ***** noted *****, "In gener*****l, 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 ***** moder*****te analgesic—a description that could be applied to any num*****r 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?

Figure: Medicinal ***** Plant

*****: World Wide Seeds Web site

The continuing debate

It is obvious from the rhetoric ***** *****'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 the stance that legalization was 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 me*****ures (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 determined to m*****ke the use ***** smoked marijuana more tolerated, legal, readily available.... ********** got money, and they've got energy (*****, 2001).

Once again, the ***** gets in the way of the facts; McCaffrey's judgment is solid according to h***** own claims, and certainly not t*****ose of medical science or o*****ion polls. As for having money,


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