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 the "Marijuana Tax Act" was passed by ***** 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 substance in ***** US. While d*****cussing the pros and cons of legalizing *****, I shall argue in this paper why ***** makes sense ***** decriminalize this relatively harmless drug without fur*****r delay.

Opponents of legalizing marijuana are of the view that it is a dangerous drug. Facts do not support this contention. For example, ********** has ***** been a single recorded c*****se of death due to marijuana overdose. On the other hand, a leg*****l intoxicant like alcohol results in the death of about 5,000 persons every year ***** to overdose. In fact, marijuana is one of the least ********** *****s 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 ***** Org*****nization (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 fared better than alcohol and nicot*****e in five out ***** seven comparisons of long-term damage to ***** (Concar). ***** terms ***** addictiveness too, most studies show that marijuana ***** less addictive ***** alcohol, nicotine ***** 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 as heroin or cocaine. This ********** is dis*****d ***** the fact that after the legalizing of marijuana in Holland in ***** 70's, hero***** and cocaine use declined substantially although the ***** ***** marijuana has risen. If the ***** theory were true, the use of hard drugs should have g***** up rather than down.

***** only area health issues associated with 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) ***** tobacco users ***** smoke ***** to 20 cigarettes a *****. 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 that of tobacco-smoking. ("***** To...,")

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


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