Essay - Legalization of Marijuana Introduction the Continuing Debate the Facts Disorders...

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Legalization of Marijuana


The continuing debate

The facts

Disorders and diseases affected by marijuana use



List of illustrations

***** marijuana plant

Legislative History ***** Marijuana


Among cult films, two stand out. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with its audience-participation aspect, is one. ***** other is Reefer Madness, a 1936 film meant to be a documentary about the evils of the Demon Weed. It possesses, "a dated outlook on marijuana *****" and "focuses ***** almost slapstick scenes of high school kids smoking pot and quickly going insane, playing 'evil' jazz music, being committed, and going on a murder spree" (Reefer M*****dness Web site, 2004). While it is rare to find anyone who still believes one sniff of marijuana will cause insanity, *****re ***** still a good de*****l of reefer madness around, but now it concerns whether ***** legalize the relatively harmless drug for medicinal use, or not. For example, in a 2001 report, one observer *****ed "A controversial assault on the nation's war on illegal drugs started in 1996, when a well-org*****nized and well-funded coalition of drug law reformers and grass-roots activists put legalization of 'medical marijuana' on the ballots in California and *****rizona" (Frater). It was quite a leap to characterize the attempt to legalize a drug at least as *****ful as tobacco as an "*****." It was someth*****g of a leap to pin ***** entire movement on "drug law *****," especially in light ***** research by the United States Nati*****al Academy of Sciences that placed marijuana in a category of useful drugs, ***** mild ones at that. In a 1999 *****, the ***** noted th*****t, "In general, cannab*****oids seem to be mild to moderate analgesics" (Institute of Medicine, Ch. 4, NAS Web site).

If the National Academy ***** Sciences found that ***** substance is a mild ***** moder*****te analgesic—a description ***** could ***** applied to any number of over-the-counter drugs with much worse side effects than a mild high—why has it not been decriminalized federally for medicinal use, at least?

Figure: Medicinal Marijuana Plant

*****: World Wide Seeds Web s*****e

The ***** deb*****e

It is obvious from the rhetoric that ********** publisher, The National Journal, has taken a ***** against legalizing medical marijuana, despite the publication's claim to be non-partisan. It is hard to support ***** stance that legalization ***** desired by 'drug law reformers' when, as Frater noted, Bill Clinton's administration mobilized to prevent state approvals of medical ***** in ***** states after Arizona and California voters both approved such me*****ures (Frater, 2001). Gen. Barry McCaffrey, ***** drug czar, said:

My own solid judgment was that there were a... small number of people, a few hundred, who were determined to make the use ***** smoked marijuana more **********, legal, readily available.... They've got money, and they've got energy (Frater, 2001).

Once again, the ***** gets in the way of the facts; McCaffrey's judgment is solid accord*****g to h***** ***** *****s, and certainly not those of ***** science or opinion polls. As f***** having *****,


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