Legalisation Of Marijuana Essay Research Paper ShouldMarijuana

Legalisation Of Marijuana Essay, Research Paper

ShouldMarijuana beLegalised? Marijuana should be legalised for a number of reasons. It is arelatively safe drug, in comparison to harder, more addictivedrugs like heroin and cocaine. It is the most widely used drug,behind only alcohol and is even more popular than tobacco.Marijuana can have many positive effects on the body, such asrelaxation and pain relief. The legalisation of marijuana wouldresult in a decrease in crime and let police concentrate on moreserious offences. The health and medical benefits of marijuana are numerous.Marijuana was originally used solely as a medicine, in Chinaand central Asia, and is still used today in the treatment of painand other symptoms caused by dangerous illnesses. Some of theconditions that marijuana can be beneficial for are cancer,AIDS, glaucoma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy andchronic pain. Marijuana is effective in reducing nausea andvomiting and also stimulates the appetite. As a drug, marijuanais remarkably safe. Marijuana is one of the safest therapeuticallyactive substances known. Unlike many pain relieving drugs,users of marijuana suffer no side effects. This shows that thecontinued prohibition of marijuana will only lead to more painand suffering by victims of serious medical conditions. Anothergroup to benefit from the use of marijuana as a medicine wouldbe pharmaceutical companies. Because of its many medical usesand high value, huge profits could be made. As well as its use as a medicine, marijuana is also widely usedas a recreational drug. Its popularity is mainly due to therelaxation and mood lift experienced during use. Because of itspopularity, a lot of people have become involved in the growingand dealing of marijuana, meaning that police have had todedicate long hours and time consuming attention to itsprevention and control when this time could have been betterspent pursuing more serious, violent and dangerous crimes. Thetime and money saved by the courts and the police on marijuanarelated crimes could be reinvested in the reduction of hard drugsand violent crimes. Marijuana use, relative to these crimes, ismuch more widespread throughout the community. Marijuana is an easy drug to produce in comparison to otherillegal drugs such as cocaine. For this reason, there are a lot ofsmall time drug dealers who would be shut down and forced outof business by legalisation. Most people would choose to buyfrom large corporations who could produce higher qualitymarijuana at a lower cost, with the knowledge that it would befree of adulterants and poisons. The black market woulddisappear and with it so would the violence and theft associatedwith the distribution of marijuana. With the disappearance ofthe black market, the production of marijuana as both a medicaland a recreational drug could be regulated and monitored by thegovernment. In this way, it could be licensed and taxed,providing the government with income that presently goesstraight into the dealers’ pockets. It has been estimated that eachyear drug lords make over twenty billion dollars from the sale of

marijuana and cocaine. If marijuana was legalised then one oftheir major sources of funds would be taken away, meaning thatorganised crime would also decrease. Those opposed to the legalisation of marijuana have few reasonsfor it to remain banned. The main reasons are that it isdamaging to people’s health, it is a “gateway” to harder drugsand that legalisation would increase crime. The claim that it canbe detrimental to health is simply short-sighted and ignorant.The benefits of marijuana to sufferers of AIDS, cancer and otherserious illnesses far outweigh the minimal health problemsassociated with its use. The legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco are far more harmful anddamaging than marijuana. Alcohol causes damage to the liver,brain and stomach. Blackouts, hallucinations and extremetremors can occur. Alcohol causes physical and mental damageto unborn children when consumed during pregnancy.Thousands of people are hospitalised in New Zealand every yeardue to alcohol. Withdrawal from alcohol can be fatal. Over100,000 deaths annually are directly linked to alcoholpoisoning. In over 4,000 years of recorded history no one hasever died from a marijuana overdose. Cigarette smoking is also highly lethal. Smoking triples the riskof heart disease and increases the risk of dying from lung cancerby more than 20 times. One in every five deaths in New Zealandis smoking related. On average, smokers die nearly seven yearsearlier than non-smokers. Smoking causes health risks fornon-smokers through passive smoking which can also causelung cancer and heart disease. These facts and statistics showthat marijuana remaining illegal due to health risks would becontradictory, when alcohol and tobacco are far moredangerous. So much more dangerous that ninety-five percent ofhealth-related problems in New Zealand are because of alcoholand tobacco. The belief that marijuana is a “gateway drug”, that it would leadon to harder drugs, is missing an important point. Alcohol andtobacco are also “gateway” drugs. Seventy-five percent ofmarijuana users also smoke and the majority of drug users startout with alcohol, which is readily available throughout society.While these destructive drugs are used as an introduction todrugs, how can marijuana be singled out in the way that it hasbeen? The other main reason that groups opposed to marijuana use isthat drug related crime would increase. This is simply false anduntrue. How can this be right when users and growers would nolonger be prosecuted, the black market would disappear andpolice would have more hours free? It is simply not the case. Marijuana must be legalised because of its health benefits, thereduction in crime and the financial benefits that would result.At the moment, it is impossible for police to fight off the use ofmarijuana. It is simply too widespread and they are wastingtheir time trying to stop it. If marijuana were legalised, the timeand money saved could be reallocated to a more manageable,worthwhile and achievable goal, such as keeping young peopleoff drugs, or fighting harder, more dangerous drugs. References Davis, L-Facts about marijuana, 1996 Gibson, J-Marijuana, 1993 Murphy, T-Legalisation of Marijuana, 1998 Valde, A-The Legalisation of Marijuana For and Against, 1996


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