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" ***** 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 marijuana, I shall argue in this paper why it makes sense to decrim*****alize this relatively harmless drug w*****hout further delay.

***** ***** legalizing ***** are of the view that it is a dangerous drug. Facts do not support th***** contention. For example, *****re has ***** been a single recorded c*****se of dea***** due to marijuana overdose. On the other hand, a legal intoxicant like alcohol results in the death ***** about 5,000 persons every year ***** 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 He*****lth Organization (WHO) Study, which was scheduled to be published in Decem*****r 1997 but was suppressed by its top management due to political pressure, had reported that Cannabis f*****d better than alcohol ***** nicotine in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to health (Concar). ***** terms ***** addictiveness too, most studies show ***** marijuana ***** less addictive ***** alcohol, nicotine 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 ***** heroin or cocaine. This *****ory is disproved ***** the fact that after the legalizing of ***** in Holl***** in the 70's, ***** and cocaine use declined substantially although the ***** ***** marijuana has risen. If the ***** theory were true, the use of hard drugs should ***** gone up ra*****r than down.

The only area health issues associated w*****h marijuana smoking are respiratory problems and possible development ***** cancer. However, it is a well-established fact that regular marijuana users normally smoke far less (just 3-4 joints in a day) ***** ***** users ***** smoke ***** to 20 cigarettes a *****. 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 ***** marijuana are far ***** than that of tobacco-*****. ("***** To...,")

***** the ***** h*****, marijuana is known to have important medicinal properties. The Institute ***** Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academy of Sciences carried ***** a review and analysis of health-related ***** of ***** in 1980. It recognized marijuana'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. The IOM highly recommended ***** research to determine the full therapeutic


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