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" ***** 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 d*****cussing the pros and cons of legalizing *****, I shall argue in this paper why it makes sense ***** decriminalize this relatively harmless drug w*****hout fur*****r delay.

***** ***** legalizing marijuana are of the view that it is a dangerous *****. Facts do not support this contention. For example, *****re has ***** been a single recorded c*****se of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other h*****, a leg*****l intoxicant like alcohol results in the death of 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 ***** health effects of marijuana, a World ***** Org*****nization (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 ***** (Concar). ***** terms of addictiveness too, most studies show that marijuana was less addictive ***** alcohol, nicotine and 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 disproved by the fact that after ***** ***** of ***** in Holl***** ***** the 70's, heroin and ***** use declined substantially although the ***** of marijuana has risen. If the 'gateway' theory were true, the use of hard drugs should have gone up ra*****r than down.

The 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) ***** tobacco ***** ***** ***** ***** to 20 cigarettes a d*****y. This reason 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 less than ***** of *****-smoking. ("Answers To...,")

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

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