Legalization of Marijuana

Legalization of Marijuana

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Legalizing marijuana could lead to new medicinal purposes. This seems to be the strongest argument in legalizing this substance. Marijuana is a controlled substance, also known as a narcotic. More commonly named in the past, hemp plant or cannabis, is one of the oldest known psychoactive plants in humanity. The main ingredient in marijuana that causes the “high” people get form smoking it is known as THC (“tetrahydrocannabinols”). A native of central Asia, cannabis may have been cultivated as much as ten thousand years ago. It was cultivated in China by 4000 B.C. and in Turk Stan by 3000 B.C. It has long been used as a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and South America. The first evidence of the medicinal use of cannabis was during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Chen Nung five thousand years ago. “It was recommended for malaria, constipation, and rheumatic pains (Grinspoon, Lester. 3) Since then many American research facilities have tried to cannabis find medicinal purposes for the drug. In the twentieth century has been proposed or shown to be useful as a medicine for many disorders and symptoms. As the results of various state research programs indicate, marijuana may be a remarkably effective substitute for standard drugs. “In one study of fifty-six patients who got no relief from standard anathematic agents, 78 percent became symptom-free when they smoked marijuana.” (Grinspoon, Lester. 25). Marijuana is also used for medicinal purposes in disorders such as: cancer chemotherapy, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, AIDS, chronic pain, rheumatic diseases, depression and other mood disorders. Though all of these have valid reason to legalize marijuana the FDA has yet to approve of it. "Today drugs must undergo rigorous, expensive, and time-consuming tests to win approval by the Food and Drug Administration for marketing as medicines." (Grinspoon, Lester. 226)

Those who are suffering from various diseases are also excluded from the use of marijuana. If cannabis was made legal, there are several medicinal uses for it. The most recent is a study of the effects of marijuana on Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Eventually victims of the disease may become totally paralyzed and forced to use a wheel chair. According to the BBC news, (an English news website), about 200 people have signed up to take part in the first national study of the effects of this narcotic on the disease.

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The group will be split into two categories, those who receive the actual stimulant THC and those who receive placebo. The results of the experiment will prove that marijuana helps to reduce muscle stiffness ands improve mobility in most patients. The results of the experiment are to be released by summer of 2003.

Other topics on the legalization of marijuana include the decriminalization of laws in some states and approving it for it’s industrial use. California became the first state to effectively remove criminal penalties for qualifying patients who grow, possess, and use medical marijuana. To qualify, the law specified that patients need a doctor to "recommend" marijuana. By leaving out the word "prescribe," doctors will not actually violate federal laws in order to help their patients.

Over the next four years, seven states and the District of Columbia followed California's decision. Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia passed similar decriminalization laws in 1998. Maine passed an initiative in 1999, while Colorado and Nevada waited until the year 2000. Each state approved its initiative by a wide margin, and no state has rejected an initiative that solely addressed medical marijuana. Hawaii broke new ground in 2000, when it became the first state to enact a law to remove criminal penalties for medical marijuana users via a state legislature. Hawaii's governor, who submitted the original bill and signed the final measure into law on June 14, said, "The idea of using marijuana for medical purposes is one that's going to sweep the country. More than 51 million Americans -- 19% of the U.S. population -- now live in the eight states." here medical marijuana users are protected by state law. In other states the penalties for the use or sell of marijuana are harsh. In 1997, the FBI reported over 695,000 arrests involving marijuana. An amazing 83% were for the use not sale of this substance. A marijuana cigarette penalty can be as costly as 10,000 dollars and up to one year in jail. Large-scale marijuana traffickers can even be put to death. In addition, under both state and federal regulations, an investigation for a marijuana offense can lead to the seizing of property. Once a law has been established to determine the difference between marijuana use and abuse, just as alcohol, only then can it be made legal.

Works Cited Page

Grinspoon, Lester. Marijuana, The Forbidden Medicine. Connecticut: 1997 News. News website for England. Updated daily. <>
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