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 "Mariju*****a Tax Act" ***** 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 ***** US. While d*****cussing the pros and cons of legalizing *****, I shall argue in this paper why it makes sense to decriminalize this relatively harmless drug without fur*****r delay.

***** of legalizing marijuana are of the view that it is a dangerous drug. Facts do not support this contention. For example, there has not been a single recorded c*****se of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other h*****, 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 ***** prove fatal. ("Answers To...," Para on Health Risk Myths)

As for ***** allegedly harmful health effects of marijuana, a World ***** Organization (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 fared better than alcohol ***** nicotine in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage to ***** (Concar). ***** terms of addictiveness too, most studies show that marijuana ***** less addictive than 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 as heroin or cocaine. This *****ory is dis*****d ***** the fact that after ***** legalizing of ***** in Holland ***** the 70's, ***** and cocaine use declined substantially although the ***** ***** marijuana has risen. If ***** ***** theory were true, the use of hard drugs should ***** gone up rather than down.

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

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


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