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 ***** "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 substance in ***** US. While d*****cussing the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana, I shall argue in this paper why ***** makes sense to decriminalize this relatively harmless drug without further delay.

***** 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 c*****se of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other h*****, a leg*****l intoxicant like alcohol results in the death of about 5,000 persons every year due to overdose. In fact, ***** is one of the least ********** substances and has to be consumed in physically impossible quantities ***** prove fatal. ("Answers To...," Para on Health Risk Myths)

As for the allegedly ***** health effects of marijuana, a World ***** Organization (WHO) Study, which was scheduled to be published in Decem*****r 1997 but was suppressed by its top management due to political pressure, had reported ***** Cannabis f*****d better than ***** ***** nicot*****e in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to ***** (Concar). ***** terms of addictiveness too, most studies show that marijuana was less addictive ***** alcohol, nicotine and 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 ***** heroin or cocaine. This ********** is disproved by the fact that after ***** legalizing of marijuana in Holland in the 70's, ***** and coca*****e use declined substantially although the use of marijuana has risen. If the 'gateway' theory were true, the use ***** ***** drugs should ***** g***** up ra*****r than down.

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

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


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