Marijuana: Drug Or Cure? Essay

1335 words - 5 pages

A current hot button topic with some people and some state legislatures happens to be over the legalization of Marijuana. As of 1970 with the passing of The Controlled Substances Act the Federal Government officially classified marijuana as a schedule 1 drug with no real accepted medicinal use at the time (History of Marijuana). As the capabilities of science have progressed over time more and more scientific challenges have bombarded this decision so that more tangible research can be garnered from this plant. The earliest known mention of marijuana as a recreational drug came from the writings of the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 B.C. (History of Marijuana). While the Chinese were aware of the psychoactive properties the plant could induce in users of the plant, the benefit of it as a medicinal agent was more important to them (History of Marijuana). There are other cultures who did not take the same view as the Chinese on the plant. In India the drug was explicitly used for recreation, in the Muslim world it was also used recreationally because alcohol is banned in Muslim regions (History of Marijuana). With a brief look at the history of marijuana it is obvious that there are conflicting ideas concerning the use of it. With the advancement of science comes not only a look at possible benefits of the plant, but a more detailed look at possible harm it could potentially do.
The current strongest argument for the legalization of marijuana is for the medicinal benefits that it can provide to some patients and the alleviation of severe symptoms (Pros of Marijuana Legalization). Chemotherapy as a treatment for the eradication of cancer can have very ill side effects for the patient receiving these treatments. Chemotherapy can cause extreme nausea and vomiting, with the introduction of marijuana to these patients nausea and vomiting can be relieved (Pros of Marijuana Legalization). Since there has been no cure for AIDS as of yet, marijuana has been found to improve the appetite of AIDS patients and aid them in keeping their lean muscle mass intact (Pros of Marijuana Legalization). These are just a few benefits that have been proven that marijuana can do some good as long as they are administered by licensed medical professionals.
If marijuana is ever legalized in any form by the federal government, that can present a problem for its potential to be abused. Studies show the adolescents from 12-17 are more likely to use cocaine, and that marijuana as a “gateway” drug is the most common route taken to even more dangerous recreational drugs (Cons of Marijuana Legalization). If marijuana is legalized that leads to the question “Will the benefits outweigh the risk?” Further studies have also determined that marijuana use in pregnant women have shown undesirable effects on their children (Cons of Marijuana Legalization). In a learning environment it has shown that these children exposed to marijuana are more likely to exhibit poor...

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