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Marijuana: Medicine or Menace?


Submitted By aduntoridos
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Pages 4
Jacob Frederick
Composition II

Marijuana: Medicine or Menace?

I have had strong feelings about this issue before it was even brought up as a topic for debate in our class. My opinion on the topic has not changed in the slightest, but I did learn a lot of interesting details concerning it. I have always felt that marijuana should be legalized, or at the very least, people with serious medical conditions should have access to it. And marijuana doesn’t even have to be legalized in my opinion, but it should definitely be decriminalized. I don’t think anyone who wants to smoke a plant that they grow themselves should have to suffer consequences, considering they are responsible in their recreational smoking. I do feel that if it were legalized, that there should be an acceptable age limit to buy and/or consume marijuana, comparable to that of alcohol. There are beneficial as well as harmful effects concerning marijuana, but that goes for a lot of things people do in everyday life. And I feel that a lot of time has been spent shining the spotlight on the harmful effects of marijuana, while little research has been done or even allowed, on the benefits of marijuana. While preparing for the debate, I encountered many sources on each end of the spectrum; including some in the middle. Many of the sources I looked at seemed rather credible, but others were most definitely biased. One example of a blatantly biased comment was, "Most pot smokers drink alcohol heavily, and may become so confused that they take cocaine or heroin.” ( Another interesting bit of information I found was, “Medical marijuana is now a serious $1.7 billion dollar market, according to a new report released this month by an independent financial analysis firm that specializes in new and unique markets.” ( Even with the medicinal benefits of marijuana, you have to weigh the benefits against the cons. I found this statement in an article concerning marijuana and Multiple Sclerosis, “it was clear that the psychoactive effects of these cannabinoids would need to be reduced sufficiently to make them a safe and comfortable treatment for people with MS.” ( Here is yet another comment that I feel was biased; Asa Hutchinson, the ex-administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration stated that, “Legalizing the drug will swell societal ills, and this outweighs the monetary benefits that might be achieved from its lawful sale.” ( While doing research for the debate, I learned a lot about the disease Multiple Sclerosis and the benefits that marijuana offers to the people who suffer from it. I learned more about our local laws concerning marijuana, including the consequences for different marijuana related offenses. I also found out that smoking marijuana is just as harmful as smoking tobacco, if not worse. I have developed a greater understanding of the responsibility that needs to be involved in the use of marijuana as well. Taking all of these factors into consideration, I still feel the same way I did about this topic as I did at the beginning of the course. I found the debate to be an awesome learning tool. There were multiple people on both sides of the debate researching one topic, all with their own opinions and backgrounds. It was interesting sharing with both sides of our debate. I felt I participated fairly well, although I held back a bit because I didn’t want to be ripped to shreds by some of the more stubborn, I suppose you could say ‘colorful’, people in the class. I felt everyone came pretty well prepared for debate as well. I also liked the fact that we had an audience for each topic that was being debated at the time. During the dialogue session, I thought the communication lines were smoothed out a bit more, as compared to the debate. I think it will be some time before any compromise is reached on this topic, as it is highly controversial with both sides having very good reasons for their standpoints. It is my personal opinion that marijuana will be legalized in a majority of the states, with varying levels of legalization and requirements to be able to acquire the drug legally. At the very least, I think most states will allow people with certain medical conditions to be able to have marijuana prescribed to them. The only possible solution that I see to allow marijuana to be legalized would be to strictly regulate the drug. Allowing Americans to grow and sell marijuana legally would most definitely pose a threat to certain aspects of our lives, but it would also carry benefits as well. The money that is funneled into violent organizations such as the Mexican Cartels or other terroristic sects, could instead stay in our country to be used to reinforce our country’s infrastructure. It could provide extra money for everything from building roads to producing jobs, and possibly even to build schools. Who knows? As with most everything, you must weigh the pros and cons.

Works Cited

Should marijuana ever be used to treat children and adolescents? Last updated on: 9/29/2008 1:20:00 PM PST, Date Accessed April 17, 2012 <>
Marijuana And MS Treatment, Not So Smart? Article Date: 29 Mar 2011 - 9:00 PDT, Date Accessed April 17, 2012
Marijuana (Cannabis). Date Accessed April 17, 2012
Hutchinson, Asa. Legalizing Marijuana Not Worth the Costs. Published: Tuesday, 20 Apr 2010 | 12:01 AM ET © 2012, Date Accessed April 17, 2012

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