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 ***** "Marijuana Tax Act" ***** passed by the 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 decrim*****alize this relatively harmless drug without further delay.

Opponents of legalizing marijuana are of the view that it is a dangerous *****. 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 toxic *****s and has to be consumed in physically impossible quantities to prove fatal. ("Answers To...," Para on Health Risk Myths)

As for ***** 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 ***** Cannabis f*****d better than alcohol and nicotine in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to health (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 ***** heroin or cocaine. This *****ory is dis*****d by the fact that after the legalizing of ***** in Holland ***** ***** 70's, ***** and cocaine use declined substantially although the ***** of marijuana has risen. If the ***** theory were true, the use ***** ***** drugs should have g***** up ra*****r than down.

***** only area ***** issues associated w*****h marijuana smoking are respiratory problems and possible development of cancer. However, it is a well-est*****blished fact ***** 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 properties of THC (which facil*****ates the in the quick clearance of smoke from the lungs) means that even these injurious effects ***** marijuana are far ***** than that of tobacco-*****. ("***** To...,")

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


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