Marijuana: The Legalization Essay, Research Paper
Marijuana: The Legalization
After the sustaining vote in November of 1996 and coming into effect the
beginning of this year, marijuana is now legal to medical patients in California
and Arizona. Proposition 215 reads as follows:
The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that the
purposes of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 are as follows:
(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain
and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed
appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the
person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of
cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine,
or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
(B) To ensure that patients and their primary care givers obtain and use
marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not
subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.
(C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan
for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical
need of marijuana. (Proposition 215 Section 11362.5)
Of course, it goes on and breaks into fine detail into which I choose
not to venture. To summarize it all, if you’re sick, or think you are, your doc
can get you some pot. Just like that.
So what’s so great about this? It supposedly brings relief to those
with terminal illnesses. (Such were listed in 215) Cancer sufferers who are
inflicted with nausea due to chemotherapy have reported that a puff or two of a
marijuana cigarette relieves the pain. (Theorized after study by psychiatrist
Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School) It has also been reported to relieve
the pain suffered by AIDS patients. Despite all this great relief, one question
remains unanswered, what about the side effects? Exactly how harmful and
addicting is this stuff?
MY SIDE: (the important stuff)
My personal opinion: Marijuana should remain illegal because of the
enormous side effects and addiction that results after using the drug. My first
fact to back my opinion would have to be this, marijuana is what it is, a drug!
You can’t change that no matter how many people vote on it. Sure, there are
prescription drugs on the market that are potentially dangerous but their
effects are nothing compared to that of marijuana. Such a comparison can be made
between a knife and a gun, prescription drugs being the knife and marijuana the
gun. They are both potentially lethal and incredibly dangerous but they have
their differences. With a knife, you have to be careless enough to fall on it.
With a gun, all you have to be is stupid enough to mess with it.
Of course, others have their opinions and I respect that. Lester
Grinspoon states “One of marijuana’s greatest advantages as a medicine is it’s
remarkable safety. It has little effect on major physiological functions.
There is no known case of a lethal overdose….Marijuana is also far less
addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle
relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics.” Although he seems to have nothing but
good things to say about drugs, NIDA Director Alan Leshner has this to say,
“What we’re saying is we don’t know the answer to the long-term effects because
we haven’t studied them.” He doesn’t seem to be feeling all the sunshine. What
I’m trying to put across is, nobody is sure what marijuana can cause, except for
pulmonary impact. We know that it hurts the lungs. Other than that, we haven’t
got much of a clue. It could bring about cancers or other fatal diseases that
science would just have to find another cure for. It’s possible that we’re just
creating more work for ourselves.
In a recent study performed by yours truly, I found that there aren’t a
whole lot of people in favor of this new law. In fact, in a survey of 30 people,
only one had anything positive to say about it. Perhaps we’re all just
prejudice and aren’t educated enough on the matter, or perhaps it because we
have been educated. Ever since I can remember, (Born May 29, 1981) those egg
commercials have been on television. You know, the one where the guy says,
“This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” As stated
earlier, marijuana is one of those drugs. There had to be some reason for
putting that ad on the air. If it was a harmless drug, I guess it was just a
waste of valuable commercial time.
I don’t have much more to say. There isn’t a whole lot of information
on this subject that doesn’t consist mainly of opinions. Now you have mine. If
you don’t get anything else out of this, just remember, marijuana is a drug,
drugs are dangerous and thus should remain illegal. In the survey I conducted
one person replied to this question: Do you have any suggestions on how to
reduce marijuana abuse? “Let them smoke it a lot and it will kill those who use
it thus reducing the abusers.” Seeming how this paper of mine will not have much
of an effect if any on the now set laws, perhaps that isn’t such a bad idea.