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 ***** "Marijuana Tax Act" was 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 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 w*****hout fur*****r delay.

Opponents ***** legalizing ***** are of the view that it is a dangerous drug. Facts do not support th***** contention. For example, ********** has not been a single recorded c*****se of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other hand, a leg*****l intoxicant like alcohol results in the death of about 5,000 persons every year due to overdose. In fact, marijuana is one of the least toxic substances 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 *****, a World ***** Org*****nization (WHO) Study, which was scheduled to be published in December 1997 but was suppressed by its top management due to political pressure, had reported that Cannabis fared better than alcohol and nicot*****e in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to health (Concar). ***** terms ***** addictiveness too, most studies show ***** marijuana ***** less addictive ***** alcohol, nicot*****e ***** 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 ***** heroin or cocaine. This ********** is dis*****d ***** the fact that after ***** ***** of marijuana in Holland in the 70's, hero***** and ***** use declined substantially although the use of marijuana has risen. If ***** ***** theory were true, the use of hard drugs should have g***** up ra*****r than down.

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

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


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