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" was passed by ***** 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 it makes sense ***** decriminalize this relatively harmless drug without further delay.

Opponents ***** legalizing ***** are of the view that it is a dangerous drug. Facts do not support th***** contention. For example, *****re has ***** been a single recorded c*****se of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other h*****, a legal intoxicant like ***** results in the death of about 5,000 persons every year due 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 ***** allegedly ***** health effects of marijuana, a World ***** Org*****nization (WHO) Study, which ***** scheduled to be published in Decem*****r 1997 but was suppressed ***** its top management due to political pressure, had reported that Cannabis fared better than alcohol and nicot*****e in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage to ***** (Concar). ***** terms ***** addictiveness too, most studies show ***** marijuana ***** less addictive ***** alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. (Quoted in "Study Compares...," 1994)

Other allegations against marijuana-use include the oft-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 *****ory is disproved by the fact that after ***** legalizing of marijuana in Holl***** in the 70's, hero***** and cocaine use declined substantially although the use ***** marijuana has risen. If ***** 'gateway' theory were true, the use of ***** drugs should ***** gone up ra*****r than down.

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

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


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