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


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Legalizing Marijuana

***** was declared an illegal drug in the United States in 1937 when the "Marijuana Tax Act" was passed by ***** Congress under dubious circumstance. Even though several studies have since shown that the drug 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 ***** US. While d*****cussing the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana, I shall argue in this paper why it makes sense ***** decriminalize this relatively harmless drug w*****hout fur*****r delay.

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

As for ***** allegedly harmful health effects of marijuana, a World Health Organization (WHO) Study, which ***** scheduled to be published in Decem*****r 1997 but was suppressed ***** its top management due to political pressure, had reported ***** Cannabis f*****d better than alcohol and nicot*****e 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 ***** caffeine. (Quoted in "Study Compares...," 1994)

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

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

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

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