Essay - Legalizing Marijuana Marijuana Was Declared an Illegal Drug in the...

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Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana was declared an illegal drug in the United States in 1937 when the "Mariju*****a Tax Act" ***** passed by the Congress under dubious circumstance. Even though several studies have since shown that the ***** is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, and enforcement of marijuana laws cost an enormous amount, it continues to remain an illegal subst*****ce in the US. While discussing ***** pros and cons of legalizing marijuana, I shall argue in this paper why ***** makes sense to decriminalize this relatively harmless drug without further delay.

Opponents ***** legalizing ***** are of the view that it is a dangerous *****. Facts do not support th***** contention. For example, ********** has ***** been a single recorded c*****se of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other hand, a leg*****l intoxicant like ***** results in the death of about 5,000 persons every year ***** to overdose. In fact, marijuana is one of the least ********** substances and has to be consumed ***** physically impossible quantities ***** prove fatal. ("Answers To...," Para on Health Risk Myths)

As for the allegedly ***** health effects of marijuana, a World ***** Org*****nization (WHO) Study, which was scheduled to be published in December 1997 but was suppressed by its top management due to political pressure, had reported ***** Cannabis f*****d better than alcohol ***** nicotine in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage to ***** (Concar). In terms of addictiveness too, most studies show that marijuana ***** less addictive ***** alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. (Quoted in "Study Compares...," 1994)

Other allegations against marijuana-use include the *****t-repeated charge ***** it acts as a 'gateway' drug, i.e., people who smoke marijuana, often 'graduate' to hard drugs such ***** heroin or cocaine. This ********** is disproved by the fact that after ***** legalizing of marijuana in Holland ***** the 70's, heroin and cocaine use declined substantially although the ***** of marijuana has risen. If the ***** theory were true, the use of ***** drugs should have g***** up ra*****r than down.

The only area health issues associated w*****h marijuana smoking are respiratory problems ***** possible development of cancer. However, it is a well-established fact ***** regular marijuana users normally smoke far less (just 3-4 joints in a day) ***** tobacco users ********** smoke ***** to 20 cigarettes a *****. This re*****son and the proven bronchial-dilatory propert*****s of THC (which facil*****ates the in the quick clearance of smoke from the lungs) means that even these injurious effects of marijuana are far ***** than ***** of tobacco-*****. ("***** To...,")

On the ***** hand, ***** is known to ***** important medicinal properties. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) ***** the US National Academy of Sciences carried ***** a review and analysis of health-related effects of marijuana in 1980. It recognized *****'s *****rapeutic potential in treating glaucoma, controlling the severe nausea ***** vomiting associated with chemotherapy, as an anticonvulsant, and as an effective muscle relaxant among other uses. The ***** highly recommended further research to determine the full therapeutic


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