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" was passed by the 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 substance in ***** US. While discussing the pros and cons of legalizing *****, I shall argue in this paper why ***** makes sense ***** decrim*****alize this relatively harmless drug without fur*****r delay.

Opponents of legalizing marijuana are of the view that it is a dangerous drug. Facts do not support this contention. For example, ********** has ***** been a single recorded case of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other hand, a leg*****l 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 December 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 health (Concar). ***** terms ***** addictiveness too, most studies show that marijuana ***** less addictive than alcohol, nicot*****e ***** caffeine. (Quoted in "Study Compares...," 1994)

Other allegations against marijuana-use include the oft-repeated charge ***** it acts as a 'gateway' drug, i.e., people who smoke marijuana, often 'graduate' to hard drugs such ***** heroin or cocaine. This *****ory is dis*****d by the fact that after ***** legalizing of marijuana in Holland ***** the 70's, ***** and cocaine use declined substantially although the ***** of marijuana has risen. If ***** 'gateway' theory were true, the use ***** hard drugs should ***** g***** up ra*****r than down.

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

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