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" was 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 substance in the US. While discussing ***** pros and cons of legalizing *****, I shall argue in this paper why it makes sense to decriminalize 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, there has not been a single recorded case of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other h*****, a leg*****l intoxicant like ***** results in the death ***** about 5,000 persons every year ***** to overdose. In fact, ***** is one of the least *****xic *****s and has to be consumed ***** physically impossible quantities to prove fatal. ("Answers To...," Para on Health Risk Myths)

As for the allegedly ***** health effects of marijuana, a World Health Organization (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 f*****d better than alcohol ***** nicot*****e in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to ***** (Concar). ***** terms of addictiveness too, most studies show that marijuana was less addictive than 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 as heroin or cocaine. This theory is disproved by the fact that after the ***** of marijuana in Holland in the 70's, hero***** and cocaine use declined substantially although the ***** of marijuana has risen. If the ***** theory were true, the use ***** hard drugs should ***** g***** up ra*****r than down.

The only area health issues associated w*****h marijuana smoking are respiratory problems ***** possible development of cancer. However, it is a well-established fact that regular marijuana users normally smoke far less (just 3-4 joints in a day) ***** tobacco ***** who ***** ***** to 20 cigarettes a *****. This re*****son and the proven bronchial-dilatory properties of THC (which facil*****ates the ***** the quick clearance of smoke from the lungs) means that even these injurious effects ***** marijuana are far ***** than ***** of *****-*****. ("Answers To...,")

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

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