Marijuana Legalization 2 Term Paper

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Ever since it s boom in the 1960 s and 1970 s, marijuana use has been a controversial topic. Marijuana is the dried, shredded flowers and buds of the hemp plant, cannabis saliva (Monroe). It is usually rolled into marijuana cigarettes known as joints, or put into pipes and smoked. The effects of marijuana vary from user to user. Some may feel nothing when using while others, feel relaxed, intoxicated, euphoric, or tired (Yahoo). While intoxicated time seems to pass slowly, and the user becomes engrossed with ordinary sights, sounds, and tastes (ABC News). While there are certain side affects associated with marijuana use they are no more harmful than those of alcohol are. Marijuana has proven beneficial as a treatment for patients suffering from certain diseases. Although there are certain downsides to marijuana use, its legalization will save lives and cause a drastic decrease in crime and it there for should be legaized.

The opposition states that marijuana, a wild growing weed should not be used by modern day doctors to treat ill patients. It is an inexact method of treatment and is poorly regulated. It is impossible for doctors to ensure the purity of the plant. There is no way of regulating the amount of THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana if it is simply grown (ABC News). It will also be impossible to regulate the drug and keep the average person from obtaining it. However, like all other drugs and medications, marijuana can very easily be regulated. It is not simply grown freely on open fields by anyone who pleases, but rather by government scientists in greenhouses on government owned and regulated land. Just like other medications marijuana is not simply available to the general public but must rather be prescribed by licensed doctors (Shannon). Despite its impurities and inexact potency, it non-the less saves lives and aids in the treatment of many suffering people. It alleviates nausea and increases the appetites in AIDS patients(ABC News). It also treats a variety of chronic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and paraplegia. It also aids in the treatment of cancer and helps fight glaucoma (Sanders).

Many say that marijuana is a harmful addictive substance. Marijuana has been known to damage many parts of the body. It causes a loss of short-term memory (Monroe). Like other drugs marijuana is addictive (ACC). Marijuana use also carries with it the risk of a possible overdose. However marijuana is not as harmful as many would like to think. In fact it is considered a soft drug. And while there are certain harmful effects associated with its use, they are mostly cause by habitual long-term use. Marijuana use is safer than habitual alcohol consumption (Graff). Unlike other drugs, marijuana is not physically addicting. It is psychologically addicting, or in other words habit forming (ACC). In addition to its non-addictive properties it is virtually impossible to suffer from a fatal marijuana overdose. One must smoke forty pounds of marijuana in less than twenty-five minutes in order to suffer from such an overdose (Graff).

Although there are certain downsides to marijuana use, it should not be illegal to use it in the US. It would be hypocrisy to allow citizens to use other drugs such as alcohol and tobacco while prohibiting the use of marijuana. Its legalization will eliminate the drug crime rate. There will be no need to spend further manpower to battle the use of this harmless drug if it is legal. It will also make it much easier for patients suffering from certain diseases for which marijuana is prescribed, to obtain the drug. While it is not completely harmless, its legalization will in the long run save many lives. The decision is not whether or not marijuana is harmful, but rather what is more important, politics or human life.

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