Legalization Of Marijuana 5 Essay, Research Paper
Legalization of Marijuana
Legalization of Marijuana has quickly become a controversial issue in America. In the United States, legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes is spreading to the state level. For example, in November 1996, the people of California and Arizona voted to legalize marijuana for medicinal reasons. As a result of Proposition 215 in California, patients now smoke marijuana provided their physician recommends its usage. A prescription is not required, and marijuana continues to be illegal to prescribe. The Clinton administration responded that it would not recognize these decisions, and would prosecute physicians who recommend or provide marijuana to their patients. Although California and Arizona are the only two states to have already passed laws regulating marijuana usage, twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have laws and resolutions regarding marijuana usage. These laws and resolutions range from establishing therapeutic research programs, to allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana, to asking the federal government to lift the ban. Despite the states desires to have marijuana legalized for medicinal purposes, the US National Institutes of Health examined all existing clinical evidence about smoked marijuana and concluded that, There is no scientifically sound evidence that smoked marijuana is medically superior to currently available therapies.
Based on the conclusion made by the US National Institutes of Health, marijuana should remain illegal. Although it does have many medicinal benefits – including improving the appetite in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, reducing muscle spasms associated with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, and alleviating eye pressure in glaucoma patients – there is no proof that marijuana is the most effective treatment. The main active ingredient in marijuana (THC) is already available in its legal form, Marinol; it does in fact have therapeutic applications; therefore, the whole substance of marijuana does not necessarily need to be legalized. In addition, marijuana has many side effects that may harm patients. If marijuana does become legal, multiple legal drawbacks would occur. For example, it is highly likely that doctors may take bribes from healthy patients to prescribe the drug for recreational use. This would make legalization too difficult to regulate because prescriptions may end up in the wrong hands. In addition, legal marijuana may provide drug dealers with an easy opportunity to escape prosecution for trafficking and dealing drugs. Reversed psychology would not work in this situation, for the legalization of marijuana would inflict more chaos and crime than it would attempt to prevent.
Therefore, the best way to address this issue at the time is to conduct more thorough and involved research focused mainly on the important medical uses of marijuana. To this date, marijuana has not undergone any of the clinical trials necessary for the FDA s approval. Accordingly, the National Institutes of Health should conduct this research proving whether marijuana is the most beneficial medicine for the different groups of patients. This research will most likely prove marijuana not to be the most effective treatment; thereby, allowing it to remain illegal. The majority of Republicans would respond well to this idea because they believe marijuana should remain illegal. Democrats, including Massachusetts own Barney Frank, would disagree with this approach, for they believe marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes. However, there is a large group of politicians who remain split between the two contradicting sides. Studies should also be conducted through governmental funding on those people in California and Arizona currently using marijuana for medicinal purposes. These studies should be compared to studies of similar patients not using marijuana to cure the different medical problems. Until further formal research is done into the side effects, and chemical, and biologically processes of marijuana, it should remain illegal to use.