Argument For Legalization Of Marijuana Essay

1525 words - 6 pages

Marijuana has become one of the most controversial drugs in America. Ever since its cultivation began around 1611, marijuana has puzzled people with its effects. Many question marijuana?s classification as a schedule one drug. A schedule one drug is one that has a high potential for abuse and no medicinal value. Some argue that the war on drugs, in particular marijuana, has cost taxpayers billions and is wasting funds that could be used on more important tasks such as improving transportation or education. As drug arrests rise, so do the populations in state prisons. This has become an immediate problem with no real solution. The legalization of possessing small amounts of marijuana can contribute positively to the medical and economic world as well as cut down on the prison population.

Many people today use marijuana for multiple reasons. There will always be the teenager who tries it for the first time and enjoys the ?high? that comes along with smoking it. Besides those who smoke it for recreational purposes, there are those who need the plant as a form of medication. People suffering from a wide range of diseases and sicknesses such as AIDS and Glaucoma have claimed that it has benefited them. Numerous medical associations in the U.S. and abroad have done many tests to find the benefits and harms of marijuana. These tests come up with the same conclusion that marijuana is just as much if not more helpful than harmful.

Approximately 400, 000 Americans die every year from a smoking related illness. In 5000 years of recorded use, marijuana has never been linked to a single death, overdose, or acute toxicity (Schlosser 48). Many cancer patients have used marijuana to combat nausea and pain. AIDS patients have also had success using the drug to treat their appetite loss. Organizations such as WAMM, Wo/Men?s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, have been formed to treat people with marijuana for serious illnesses. This organization was the first in the country to be granted non-profit status. By 1937, marijuana had been classified as a narcotic by all states. It wasn?t until 1972 that there was a call for the decriminalization of marijuana by the government. The American Medical Association and the National Council of Churches endorsed the decriminalization of marijuana. One must believe that support from an organization with such influence in the medical field that marijuana must have some medicinal purpose. In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, which legalized possession of marijuana for patients with a doctor?s recommendation who are suffering from AIDS, cancer, Glaucoma, and other illnesses. In September of 2000, federal Judge William Alsup of the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco ruled that the government could not punish doctors who recommend the benefits of marijuana to their patients. This verdict gave ill people a sign of hope that they will be able to take whatever medication necessary, even marijuana,...

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