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The Legalizing Of Marijuana Essay Research Paper

The Legalizing Of Marijuana Essay, Research Paper

The Legalizing of Marijuana

Recently, both California and Arizona took the long needed initiative

and approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The California bill

says that patients may use marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. It does

not, however, allow doctors to prescribe the drug. Arizona voters passed a bill

that swings out even further to the left than California’s. Voters in Arizona

think that people should be able to use any illicit drug for bona fide medical

purposes. A recommendation by two doctors is enough to warrant a prescription.

Unfortunately, the bills passed in both states are terribly vague and are

destined to be abused.

Legalization of marijuana for medical purposes is a step in the right

direction, but California and Arizona are going about it the wrong way. The

chemical in marijuana that has medicinal benifits is delta-9-

tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Studies have shown that marijuana can ease pain,

relieve nausea, and generally relax a person. Marijuana is cheap and easy to

produce, so if legalized, it would be plentiful and probably widely used. The

problem is that there are as many harmful effects from smoking marijuana as

there are benefits. It slows reflexes, dulls the brain, and sometimes causes

hallucinations and/or cancer. There’s no mystery about why it is illegal in

most parts of the world? including the U.S.

There is a simple solution that is not being discussed by the hard-

headed bureaucracy. THC is easily removed from the plant and could be

administered as medicine in pill form. What a novel idea! No? actually it

isn’t novel at all. Many other forms of illegal drugs are dispensed as medicine

is this manner. Steroids (Cortizone, Prednizone and others) and opiates, namely

codeine and morphine, are prescribed regularly to patients for pain relief. Of

course the doctors don’t dispense poppy seeds or cocaine, the drug comes in a

pill. The amount of the drug is carefully regulated to prevent most side

effects but to still have the medicinal qualities. THC would be just as easy to

put in pill form, plus it has an important advantage over many other pain

relieving drugs; THC is not adictive. Abuse of Tylenol 3 with Codeine? is a

very rare occurrence, even though it can become addictive. Therefore, the abuse

of a doctor prescribed THC pill would be even less common.

The solution of putting THC in a pill has not been suggested before

because it doesn’t satisfy the ultimate goal of either side of the debate.

Those who are for legalization, such as Ethan Nadelman, the director of an

institute that promotes deregulation of illicit drugs, are using medicine as an

excuse to get marijuana legalized for recreational purposes. Those against

legalization know the motives of people like Nadelman and are worried that any

relaxation of the law will lead to more deregulation. The compromise of putting

THC in a pill should partially satisfy both extremes of the argument. It should

also eliminate concern that legalization of marijuana for medical purposes will

lead to the legalization of other illicit drugs. Marijuana would remain illegal

but THC could be legalized in a manner that makes it very hard to abuse. Those

who want marijuana legalized are using medicinal purposes as the backbone of

their argument. This is the medicine they asked for. The drug would be

available only by prescription, so it could be used only by people who

legitimately need it.

Why forgo a valuable medical resource because the abuse of that resource

is illegal? This type of ultra conservative thinking would eliminate most of

the medications on the market today. No more cough syrup, it has alcohol in it.

Robitussin? is out of the question. There are enough opiates in a bottle to

kill someone. Proponents of the legalization of marijuana are not really

arguing over the legalization of the drug as a medicine. They want marijuana to

be completely legalized. On the other hand, the status quo and red tape are

keeping a perfectly good medicine off the market. A little less convention and

a little more compromise would calm the uproar about legalization of marijuana.