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

***** of legalizing ***** are of the view that it is a dangerous drug. Facts do not support th***** contention. For example, ********** has ***** been a single recorded case of dea***** due to marijuana overdose. On the other hand, 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 *****xic substances 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 ***** Organization (WHO) Study, which was 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 ***** nicotine in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to health (Concar). ***** terms of addictiveness too, most studies show ***** marijuana ***** less addictive than alcohol, nicot*****e 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 ***** legalizing of marijuana in Holl***** ***** the 70's, heroin and ***** use declined substantially although the use of marijuana has risen. If the 'gateway' ***** were true, the use of hard drugs should ***** g***** up ra*****r than down.

***** only area health issues associated w*****h marijuana smoking are respiratory problems ***** 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 who smoke up to 20 cigarettes a *****. This re*****son and the proven bronchial-dilatory properties of THC (***** facilitates the ***** the quick clearance of smoke from the lungs) means that even these injurious effects of marijuana are far ***** than that of *****-*****. ("Answers To...,")

***** the ***** hand, ***** is known to have important medicinal properties. The Institute ***** Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academy of Sciences carried out a review ********** 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 ***** highly recommended further research to determine the full therapeutic

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