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

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Legalization of Marijuana


The continuing debate

***** facts

***** and diseases affected by marijuana use



List of illustrations

***** marijuana plant

Legislative History ***** Marijuana


***** cult films, two stand out. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with its audience-participation aspect, is one. ***** other is Reefer Madness, a 1936 film meant to be a documentary about the evils of the Demon Weed. It possesses, "a dated outlook on marijuana *****" 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" (***** M*****dness Web site, 2004). While it is rare ***** find any***** who still believes one sniff of marijuana will cause insanity, *****re ***** ***** a good de*****l ***** 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 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 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 ***** legalize a drug at least as useful ***** tobacco as an "*****." It was something of a leap to pin the entire movement on "drug law reformers," 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 *****, "In gener*****l, cannabinoids seem to be mild to moderate analgesics" (Institute of Medicine, Ch. 4, NAS Web *****).

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

Figure: Medicinal ***** Plant

Source: World Wide Seeds Web site

The ***** deb*****e

It is obvious from the rhe*****ric that ********** 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 was desired by 'drug law reformers' when, as Frater noted, Bill Clinton's administration mobilized to prevent state approvals of medical ***** in ***** 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 number of people, a few hundred, who were determined to m*****ke the use ***** smoked marijuana more **********, legal, readily available.... They've got money, and ********** got energy (Frater, 2001).

Once again, the rhetoric gets in the way of the facts; McCaffrey's ***** is solid according to h***** ***** *****s, and certainly not those of medical science or opinion polls. As for having *****,


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