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 ***** 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 the US. While d*****cussing ***** pros and cons of legalizing *****, I shall argue in this paper why ***** makes sense to decrim*****alize this relatively harmless drug without further delay.

***** of legalizing marijuana are of the view that it is a dangerous *****. Facts do not support th***** contention. For example, ********** has ***** been a single recorded case of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other h*****, a legal intoxicant like alcohol results in the death of about 5,000 persons every year due to overdose. In fact, ***** is one of the least *****xic substances and has to be consumed ***** physically impossible quantities ***** prove fatal. ("Answers To...," Para on Health Risk Myths)

As for the allegedly ***** health effects of marijuana, a World He*****lth Organization (WHO) Study, which was scheduled to be published in December 1997 but was suppressed by its top management due to political pressure, had reported ***** Cannabis f*****d better than alcohol ***** nicotine in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to ***** (Concar). ***** terms of addictiveness too, most studies show that 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 the legalizing of ***** in Holland ***** ***** 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 have g***** up rather than down.

***** only area health issues associated w*****h marijuana smoking are respiratory problems and possible development ***** cancer. However, it is a well-est*****blished fact ***** regular marijuana users normally smoke far less (just 3-4 joints in a day) ***** ***** ***** ********** 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 ***** marijuana are far ***** than ***** of tobacco-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 *****nd analysis of 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 ***** an effective muscle relaxant among other uses. The ***** highly recommended further research to determine the full *****rapeutic


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