Editorial on Legalization of Marijuana Article

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Legalizing Marijuana

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In this era of spiraling medical costs, if there is a product that has never caused any deaths, has proven benefits, and is inexpensive, it should not only be legal, but should be aggressively pursued by governmental agencies to aid in the health care crisis. Would you be interested in a substance that could alleviate nausea and vomiting for most cancer and chemotherapy patients? How about a way to stimulate hunger so that AIDS and other immune-suppressed individuals can eat again? How about this same substance that could lower pressure on the eye and treat glaucoma? How about chronic migraines, back pain, or even nausea and vomiting cased with hepatitis? and, would you be excited if you knew that preliminary studies show that this same substance, widely available, prevents the formation of plaque deposits in the brain of Alzheimer's victims? What if you also knew this same substance had been used as far back as 10,000 in Ancient China and was one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese medicine? In fact, this same substance was used in Egypt, India, Greece, and the Medieval Islamic world with great success (Iverson). Now, what if we told you this substance, hundreds of times less expensive than modern synthetic drugs, easy to process, easy to tolerate, with almost no side-effects, grew in almost every temperate climate in the world, but, since the mid-20th century, has been illegal in most of the developed world, and is still considered to be high on the list of illicit substances by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration? Yes, that substance is marijuana, or cannabis sativa, a simple member of the hemp family (Guither). Yet controversy continues because marijuana is still classified as an addictive substance and, according to the Federal Drug Administration, a Schedule I drug.

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One of the major criticisms of cannabis as a medicine is its mode of delivery -- smoking. Lighting any substance produces toxins that stay in the lungs, and are harmful. Some believe that any marijuana use leads to the need for more elevated drugs; and it is but a stepping stone to cocaine or heroin. Further, this view holds that legalization of any time might allow marijuana to become more readily available to minors. Finally, the anti-view believes that marijuana is a serious enough drug that it will engender more crime (DEA Speaks Out Against Legislation). This may be true, but marijuana may be ingested in a number of non-invasive ways and still provide the medical benefits. It may be used in cooking by infusing it into butter, then into baked goods; it may be made into candy; it may be reduced and formed into a medicinal balm, and it may even be inhaled using a less toxic "vaporizing" technique, which drastically reduces the number of byproducts than other smoking techniques.

Since marijuana is considered Federally illegal, possession and usage are deviant behaviors. If deviance violates social norms, though, how can deviant behaviors be acceptable in one sense, and unacceptable in another? It is illegal to download songs or movies onto one's computer, yet up to 74% do it; it is illegal to possess or smoke marijuana, but about 60% of Americans have already done it or continue to use it. Deviance, then, is relative to the time and place (e.g. fighting during a hockey game vs. fighting in a hospital ward), and the context of social power that defines that particular issue of deviance. This is an important concept because social power (government, authority, etc.) can criminalize actions so they are deviant in one context and not deviant in another (e.g. training people to kill in war then asking them to turn all that off in peacetime) (Goode). Witness the statistics that not one person… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Editorial on Legalization of Marijuana.  (2012, December 12).  Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/editorial-legalization-marijuana/4742248

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"Editorial on Legalization of Marijuana."  12 December 2012.  Web.  2 December 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/editorial-legalization-marijuana/4742248>.

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"Editorial on Legalization of Marijuana."  Essaytown.com.  December 12, 2012.  Accessed December 2, 2021.