Marijuana Legalization 2 Essay, Research Paper
Marijuana: The Legalization?
Marijuana is the focus of more debate today than any other drug. The on-going debate has intensified greatly since the propositions passed in Arizona and California that allow the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes. Lots of people admit that they ve tried marijuana and they have found that it gives them a high without excessive detrimental side effects. Therefore, due to its medical uses and limited serious side effects, marijuana should be legalized for medical use in the United States.
Marijuana has many medical uses. The most common medical use is as an appetite stimulant and as a control for nausea. Also the symptoms of chemotherapy are reduced by marijuana. Marijuana proper was proven to be effective in the prevention of nausea for chemotherapy patients. Also, Marinol, the commercial name for synthetic THC, was approved to relieve nausea and vomiting for chemotherapy patients (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 67-77).
Marijuana has many uses due to its control of nervous reflexes. THC, the active chemical in marijuana, may aid in the treatment and control of heart attacks (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 75-77) Marijuana can be used to reduce the symptoms of Huntington s disease and spinal cord injuries, based in lab findings. Furthermore, it has been found useful in the treatment of Gulf War syndrome (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 67-77). Dr. DuPont, of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), insists that regular marijuana is dangerous, and that patients should receive their treatments in the form of capsulized Marinol. Dr. Mikurya strongly disagrees with DuPont. There are over 20 active forms of THC and over 60 different canabinoids which are active in marijuana. Marinol contains only one form of THC and no other canabinoids (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 71-73).
The anti-nausea quality of marijuana also aids in aids in the treatment of those with AIDS or HIV. Marijuana helps to relieve the loss of appetite and vomiting caused by the AIDS wasting syndrome. Thousands of patients with cancer, AIDS, and other diseases report they have obtained remarkable relief from these devastating symptoms by smoking marijuana. Some have even proposed that marijuana be used as treatment for anorexia nervosa because of its stimulus to the appetite (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 67-77)
Marijuana contains other chemicals that give many other medical uses. The largest of these uses is glaucoma, an eye disease characterized by abnormally high eye fluid pressure and loss of vision. Marijuana can reduce intraocular pressure, alleviating pain and slowing, and sometimes stopping, the progress of the condition. Besides aiding in glaucoma, marijuana acts as an autoimmune modulator for arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Marijuana stimulates the appetite and alleviates nausea and vomiting for cancer patients. Marijuana also alleviates the debilitating, chronic pain caused by myriad disorders and injuries. Marijuana has been shown to help depression and other mood disorders. The other conventional antidepressant drugs like lithium, tricyclics, and MAO inhibitors have serious health risks and side effects. Marijuana is used to prevent both grande mal and other epileptic seizures in some patients. Other than these medical applications marijuana is also used for menstrual cramps and labor pains, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasm and spasticity, migraine headaches, paraplegia and quadriplegia, pruritis (itching), and insomnia (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 67-70).
In addition to medical uses, marijuana has many industrial applications. Hemp was used a lot in the old days. You could not get a high if you smoked a bale of hemp, but it s still illegal to grow it in the U.S. More than 30 countries have legalized growing industrial hemp (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 59). People have used hemp for clothing and paper that lasted for generations. Past presidents even thought hemp should be legalized because it benefited the nation in many ways. Thomas Jefferson was one of those presidents. He risked his own life just to smuggle hemp seeds from France. George Washington is another president who had the idea that hemp was vital to our growing nation. Washington grew hemp and he instructed his caretaker at Mr. Vernon, Make the most of the hemp seed. Sow it everywhere. Those were the words of a leader, a hero, and the first United States President (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 59-60).
There are so many reasons that industrial hemp should be legalized. Hemp requires no herbicides or pesticides and it needs much less water than cotton. It is very abundant also, producing up to five tons of usable material per acre. Also, hemp seed oil is a nonpolluting drying oil. Hemp fiber is being used in surfboards and snowboards instead of using glass fiber. Hemp fabrics are a lot stronger and more resistant to mold than any other natural fiber. Hemp oil is valuable as a lubricant. Paper made from hemp is acid-free. It is stronger and lasts a lot longer than paper made from trees. Hemp can replace dry wall and plywood for construction material. There are many more reasons to legalize industrial hemp.
Legalizing marijuana would benefit the federal budget. Federal revenues would increase because marijuana cigarettes would be taxed at the point of sale. Second, there would be a reduction in the amount spent on law enforcement. The marijuana legalization would slow or shut down the businesses of drug dealers. Therefore, the amount of money spent to prosecute these dealers, and even the users, would reduce (Legalization: A Debate 92).
Lastly, the legalization of marijuana is still a big subject of debate today. Some people feel that it should be banned and should not even be considered to be of debate while others would to see it approved for all uses. I feel that it should fall somewhere in the middle a little more on the legalizing it for everything side. Marijuana should be legalized only for medical applications though. Look at the facts, tobacco kills about 390,000 people a year, alcohol kills about 80,000, cocaine kill 2,200, heroin and aspirin about 2,000 and marijuana kills 0 people a year (Why Marijuana Should Be Legal 56). Yet, you have tobacco, alcohol, and aspirin legal. If you legalize marijuana it will benefit a great deal of patients with cancer, AIDS, asthma, glaucoma, and other diseases that marijuana can help. In 1988, Judge Francis Young of the DEA found marijuana to be the safest therapeutic substance known to man (Http://norml.org). The debate still continues and hopefully marijuana is legalized, for the benefit of the nation and the ill.