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Legalizing Marijuna

In: Social Issues

Submitted By cnichol
Words 1409
Pages 6
Legalizing Marijuana 1

Crystal N. Nichol
Tiffany Davis
March 5, 2012

Dying To Get High: Marijuana as Medicine People around the world are dying to get high, off the cannabis also known as marijuana to treat certain medical conditions, which is why marijuana is something that should be legally justified to treat specific pre existing medical conditions in all fifty states (Meltzer,2004). The controversial issue of legalizing marijuana for medical use is a worldwide concern, although thirteen states already have legalized marijuana for medical reasons. The legality of marijuana has been a hotly debated subject for decades until the government of US and many other established countries outlawed its use, smoking marijuana had been a widespread activity for thousands of years (Meltzer, 2004). Marijuana has been illegal in America since 1923. Since the authorities banned the recreational use, sale, and growth of this substance many groups have sprung up and protests have been organized to fight for the right to possess and use the plant (Meltzer, 2004).
Opinions appear to be pulled in two directions: that the use of marijuana is an extreme social, moral, and health ‘danger’ that must be stamped out, or that it is an innocuous, pleasant pastime that possesses health benefits and should be legalized(Zimmer,1997). It may be some time before all the truths concerning the use of this ancient drug in our society are fully known. An understanding of the history and attitudes of peoples who have long used the plant may play a large role in furthering our handling of the situation in modern society (Zimmer, 1997). It behooves us to consider the role of marijuana in man’s past and to learn what lessons it can teach us: to maintain wise restraint in our urbanized, industrialized life or, to free it for general use. It appears that Marijuana may be with us well into the future. The decriminalization of marijuana refers to removing drug offences concerning marijuana from criminal law rather than completely legalizing and allowing public use of the drug whether regulated or not. This argumentative essay will outline: the steps towards decriminalization, the repercussions displayed in an argument, counter argument form, current status on it, and an interview with someone closely tied to the matter (Zimmer, 1997).
It seems a little harsh for people to say ‘well it is illegal, so they are a criminal’. This is a victimless crime! Of course people will say the victim is the user. Isn’t the victim “One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition”? Yes, smoking marijuana can lead to circumstances that cause suffering, however these circumstances are not brought on by the users’ actions, rather they are forced upon them by the law, judging and punishing these actions. Another argument is that using marijuana is harmful to the user and therefore whoever uses it becomes victimized (Meltzer, 2004).
The intake of substances and the social acceptability of the action is a continuous issue in current legislation, specifically, ‘where to draw the line’. It is deemed that the intake of heroin is illegal but the intake of alcohol is not (Meltzer, 2004). The question to the legislation is this, ‘is marijuana so harmful or addictive that it should not be acceptable.’ According to precedent namely the addictive qualities of cigarettes and the intoxicating qualities of alcohol, marijuana should, in all rights be at the least decriminalized (Meltzer, 2004). Marijuana does not possess the qualities of a physically addictive substance and a Senate report states that it is not harmful to one’s health (Meltzer, 2004). Marijuana benefits seriously ill and terminally ill patients in that it provides pain relief and appetite enhancement. The use of marijuana is beneficial to individuals who suffer from Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, AIDS, chronic neck disorders, Palliative care, and even depression (Rachal, 2006). Many people suffer day in and day out with diseases that are not susceptible to alternative pain management medications.
The medications prescribed for these diseases are proven to be non effective in controlling pain management. President Obama said in his November 2007 campaign, “My attitude is if science and doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to.” “There is no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.” Marijuana is a folk medicine that has been around for centuries; even as recently as 1937 it was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for various ailments (Rachal, 2006). Marijuana has proved to be beneficial in the treatment of a number of ailments such as, whooping cough, chronic bronchitis, epilepsy, and the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment. There is also evidence that marijuana is effective a therapeutic agent in treatment of muscle disease, and has even been successful in suppressing convulsions (Roper, 2006). This alternative method is beneficial medically in a lot of areas. Research on Animals and Observation of Behavior of Drug Addicts has consistently proven that marijuana is not addictive. Jean a nurse for twenty-two years and an oncology nurse for five years states, “That seventy percent of cancer patients are dying in pain.” “Marijuana takes care of the pain; it does not make you high you will become lethargic. This is not about pleasure this is about pain. My concern is the patient and pain management.” Marijuana has also proven to be a stimulus in appetite, which means for patients losing weight behind illness this would be of benefit. Aids organizations have been at the fore front of the battle to legalize marijuana for medical use. Smoking marijuana could also assist in preventing AIDS wasting syndrome by stimulating appetite. Jeff, who has full blown AIDS said, “He smokes marijuana to stimulate his appetite and attitude, and to help with nausea.” Ron Stephens, who has a chronic neck disorder and depression, stated that, “That the marijuana is the only thing that seems to treat his disorder and depression.” The call for more research into the medical benefits of marijuana has prompt the Clinton Administration, to legalize for medical use. In May 1999 the Clinton Administration announced that it will sell government- grown marijuana to scientists who want to study it. The controversy continues, with some believing that the reasons behind the federal government’s refusal to legalize marijuana for medical use are much more than concern over the alleged dangers of drug, especially to society. The health of sick individuals in pain need to be the main concern as the controversy continues (Rachal, 2006).
There is no doubt that there are many issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana for medical use, but proponents argue that the issue is about compassion for the seriously ill; it is about improving the quality of life for individuals suffering in pain and terminal illness. The debate over marijuana as medicine will continue to be an issue. The ones suffering that we can’t hear are the ones who will continue to have to wait. Society needs to be open minded and research before being so closed minded to something some of us know nothing about. Legalizing marijuana is no different than Vicodin which is legal now for medical purposes. Remember it’s about pain management and improving the quality of someone’s life. Legalizing marijuana for medical purpose could be the answer to someone’s pain, which is why marijuana is something that should be legally justified to treat specific medical conditions in all fifty states. This will always be a debatable topic in everyday society.

Work Cited
Rachal Smith. Medical Marijuana Inc., Update. (23 December). PR Newswire Retrieved March 6, 2012, From ABI/INFORM Complete.
Pete Roper. (29 February). Legalizing pot wouldn't affect medical marijuana, owner says. McClatchy - Tribune Business News Retrieved March 6, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Complete.
Erica Meltzer. (24 January). Marijuana advocates call for 'Day of Action' to protest federal enforcement. McClatchy - Tribune Business News, Retrieved March 6, 2012
Legalization of marijuana – Web. 29 Oct. 2009. <>.
“» The Economic Benefits of a Legal, Regulated Marijuana Industry.” Word Press, 2005. Web. 03 Nov. 2009. <>.
Zimmer, Lynn and Morgan, John. Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review Of The Scientific Evidence. New York: The Drug Policy Alliance. 1997, 241 pages.

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