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 ***** 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 discussing the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana, I shall argue in this paper why ***** makes sense to decriminalize this relatively harmless drug without fur*****r delay.

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

As for the allegedly ***** health effects of marijuana, a World Health Organization (WHO) Study, which was scheduled to be published in December 1997 but was suppressed ***** its top management due to political pressure, had reported that Cannabis f*****d better than ***** ***** nicot*****e in five out ***** 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 oft-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 dis*****d by the fact that after the ***** of marijuana in Holl***** in ***** 70's, ***** and coca*****e use declined substantially although the use of marijuana has risen. If the 'gateway' ***** were true, the use of hard drugs should have 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-established fact that regular marijuana users normally smoke far less (just 3-4 joints in a day) than tobacco users who ***** ***** to 20 cigarettes a day. This reason and the proven bronchial-dilatory propert*****s of THC (which facilitates the in the quick clearance of smoke from the lungs) means that even these *****jurious effects of marijuana are far less than ***** of tobacco-*****. ("Answers To...,")

***** the other h*****, ***** is known to ***** important medicinal properties. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) ***** the US National Academy of Sciences carried out a review ********** analysis ***** health-related effects of marijuana in 1980. It recognized marijuana's therapeutic potential in treating glaucoma, controlling the severe nausea and vomiting associated ***** 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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