The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 started the prohibition of marijuana in America. At the time many tabloids ran untrue stories of Immigrants committing violent crimes while intoxicated with marijuana, so Congress decided to start prohibition of marijuana . This was a huge blow to many Americans since marijuana was and still is the third most popular recreational drug behind nicotine and alcohol. Also marijuana was a huge cash crop, so many farmers lost a lot of money by the prohibition. However the most dire consequence has been the massive amount of marijuana users arrested, which causes prison overcrowding. According to government surveys over 70 million people in America have smoked marijuana, and a marijuana user gets arrested every 45 seconds . With numbers like theses its no surprise the prison systems can't handle the huge influx of non violent marijuana smokers die to the war on drugs. There has been a 60% increase in marijuana arrests since Clinton started the war on drugs and over 10,000,000 Americans have been incarcerated for marijuana usage since 1972. The war on drugs also targets minorities unfairly, Blacks and Hispanics make up only 20% of marijuana users, but they are 58% of the arrested users . This has caused a lot of criticism and accusations of racism which tarnish the reputation of law enforcement officers everywhere. Marijuana users receive ridiculously long sentences, for example in Oregon a person who sold one half gram of marijuana would receive up to 20 years in prison and a $300,000 fine , that is a lot more then many violent criminals would receive. Prisons can only hold a certain amount of prisoners at once, and are now severely overcrowded. To make room for the rapid increase in marijuana users incarcerated many prisons are releasing violent criminals early. People often approve...
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Shore, Ted H, Tashchian, Armen & Adams, Janet S (2000). Development and validation of a scale measuring attitudes toward smoking. Journal of Social Psychology, 140 : 5, 615-623 The topic of the article I have chosen deals with smoking, and the attitudes of smokers and nonsmokers towards smoking in public places. Legislators have brought many laws into effect that restrict smoking in many public places. These laws and restrictions have caused much contraversy about the rights of smokers and nonsmokers. Each person has their own opinion about smoking. Smoking poses a serious health risk to smokers, and also to their rivals, nonsmokers. Many things have been done to try to help smokers stop smoking. It has been clearly proved that a serious behavior change is needed by the smoker to ever quit smoking. Over the years, peoples ideas about smoking has changed a great deal. As people learned more and more about the health risks, smoking has become a major concern on many peoples minds. This has resulted in many changes reguarding smoking in public places. In the experiments carried out by these psychologists, they found that smokers and nonsmokers have very strong opinions which usually differ greatly. The psychologists used a questionnaire to retrieve peoples opinions on smoking in the first experiment. They used the questionnaire on a group of 7th and 8th grade Chinese students. In this questionnaire they found that Chinese students had a more positive attitude toward smoking than did students in the United States. In 1989, two psychologists used a telephone survey to study public opinions of smoking. They found that smokers were more against public smoking restrictions and tobacco sales taxes than nonsmokers were. Also, psychologists used a telephone survey in Illinois and North Carolina. They found that the results were the same. They concluded...
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Legalization Of Weed The concept of marijuana legalization has gone in and out of vogue over the past 20 years, as several states, either de jure or de facto, have decriminalized its possession and use. Some describe the cause of decriminalization in the 1970s as a wave of permissive liberalism. This is hardly the case, however. In the early 1970s, a presidential commission chaired by the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, Raymond P. Schafer, called for federal decriminalization and eventual legalization, regulation, and control of marijuana (National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972). The commission concluded that marijuana should be decriminalized. This was not interpreted as a license to abuse substances. In fact, the Shafer Commission's overriding concern was reducing substance abuse. According to the report, "On the basis of our findings, discussed in previous Chapters, we have concluded that society should seek to discourage use, while concentrating its attention on the prevention and treatment of heavy and very heavy use. The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal use is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective" (National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972). In 1977, Senator Jacob Javits and Representative Edward Koch introduced a bill to federally decriminalize marijuana. Although both congressmen were Democrats, their motivation for this bill had as much to do with the economics of pursuing marijuana users, then estimated at 13 million, as the undesirability of seeking to imprison such a large portion of the national population (Koch, 1977). Today, government surveys estimate the number of regular marijuana users at about 11.8 million (NIDA, 1988). The cost of pursuing and punishing 11.8 million marijuana users, if that is all there are, would be enormous, both financially and societally. NORML and others are skeptical of the government's ability to take an accurate survey...
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Where I come from a low SES community, phrases like "your mom is a crack head," or "shut up crack baby" are said jokingly to make fun of someone during what we call a "rip session." Although said as a joke, some are very offended by the comments. Why? Because for some, crack addiction hits too close to home for comfort. Seeing as how it is easily obtainable in low SES areas, many find themselves falling victim to the powerful substance, crack cocaine. Low SES is just one of the many factors that can lead to the use, and addiction of crack cocaine, others include movies, music, peer pressure, and alcohol and cigarette ads. In this report I will discuss the effects, consequences, and possible treatment for crack cocaine addiction. "The first time cocaine is used it may make the heart beat faster leading to a feeling of excitement and fear" (qtd. in Carroll, 1994, p.24). Followed by euphoria, these feelings can peak within five seconds. The user then begins to feel more energetic and becomes more sociable (Carroll, 1994). "Psychological effects include feelings of well-being and a grandiose sense of power and ability mixed with anxiety and restlessness" (qtd. in Narconon, 2001). One inhalation will produce a high usually lasting 10-15 minutes. After this zenith of intense sensation, "…the drug wears off, these temporary sensations of mastery are replaced by an intense depression, and the drug abuser will then "crash", becoming lethargic and typically sleeping for several days" (qtd. in Narconon, 2001). There are several different ways to use crack. It can be snorted, smoked, or taken intravenously. It can also be taken orally (chewed), but this method is not preferred because of the low intensity of the high. The two most popular ways of using crack are smoking and IV...
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The drinking age is fine, if anything is should get raised. It is hard to ignore the fact that this law is broken everyday. It's the 90's all teens just want to fit in. Kids are drinking at a much younger age. Now, even 10 year olds and 11 year olds are trying to fit in with us older kids. It's amazing and sometimes funny what kids will do just to fit in with the "good" crowd. Well to some of us, that's considered the druggies and drinkers. Our parents call them the "bad" crowd with good reason. I speak from experience. Now I agree with the parents out there who worry about their kids getting into the same kind of troubles as I was in at one point in my life. I'm going to cut the bull shit and talk about the facts. Here's what parties today look like for teens. The setting, a beach or a house with no adults around to say what's wrong. The people are a bunch of teens of both sexes. The environment is any kind of drugs and or alcohol. These consists of hard liquor like Vodka and Jack Daniel's. Then there is beer with the lighter stuff like wine, wine coolers, and fuzzy navel. Teens that drive are in big trouble and are at big risk. I'm not blaming the accidents that involve drunk in just teens. Drunk drivers are of all ages. And I'm not trying to say that all teens drink either. But the ones that do and are stupid enough to say they're sober and can drive home safe. Those are the ones that put innocent citizens at risk. The drunk teens that drive are looking at getting their license provoked. They go to jail, their car gets impounded, and of...
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Drugs are a ridiculous way to handle all kinds of things. A recent Teen Magazine survey noted that: 86% of respondents had tried drugs before, 77% of whom are under 16. 63% have tried marijuana, 16% have taken a trip, and 32% have no worries about drugs. That is pretty heavy. The top 3 reasons for taking drugs were: Enjoyment, Dealing with pressure, and Peer Pressure. Do you want to end up in hospital, severely injured or DEAD? Anna Wood was a happy 15-year-old girl who was popular, on top of the world, nearly perfect…until one Saturday night, when her friends decided to take her out to a rave party. She told her parents she was going go-kart racing and left to an Ultimo nightclub, where she snuck in with a 19-year-old friend, and bought a full ecstasy tablet for $60. She took the entire pill and started to party. After about 2 hours Anna was "rolling" under the effects of ecstasy. She was sitting on a boys' lap, constantly repeating to her friends "I'm having the best night of my life." Soon she smiled and said, "I think I'm going to throw up." She spewed and ran to the restroom. Her friends took her home, saying her drink had been spiked, too scared to tell the truth. One friend went to get Anna's mother, who phoned an ambulance. Anna was feeling awful, continuing to throw up. She eventually passed out. The paramedics arrived, and took her to hospital. Three days later she was declared brain dead, after on ecstasy tablet. If just one drug can KILL you, imagine the effects of a whole lot. The purpose of this speech is to help inform naive people about the dangers of a new drug sweeping the country: a compound called MDMA, also...
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Drug dependence is psychological and sometimes physical need to use a drug in order to experience psychological or physical effects. Psychological addiction is more difficult to treat than the physical one and often continues after the physical addiction has been dealt with. Each day there are a lot of new drug addicts, but also there are a lot of those who die because of using this evil, white pleasure. Drug addiction has several forms in expressing the dependency. Also there are a lot of different types of drugs which affect the user in many physical and psychological ways. The reasons for taking drugs are different and individual. They depend on everything that surrounds us. There are as many reasons for drug abuse as there are people with different problems. Some of these people see their only way out of the problems, depression, anxiety or stress in using drugs. Even though, in many countries as Holland, Cuba and others, "soft" drugs are legalized, this doesn't mean that people over there are not drug-dependants. Also, legalization doesn't make the effects of the drugs smaller. Drug dependence takes several forms: tolerance, habituation and addiction. Tolerance, a form of physical dependence, occurs when the body becomes accustomed to a drug and requires increasing amounts of it to achieve the same effects. This condition gets worse when certain drugs are used in high doses for long periods. When the use of the drug is stopped and starts a period of drug withdrawal, the results are headaches, restlessness, sweating, and difficulty in sleeping. Habituation, a form of psychological dependence, is characterized by the continued desire for a drug, even after physical dependence is gone. A drug often produces feelings of happiness and joy, and a person taking drugs soon believes the drug is needed to function at work...
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In society today, many people look for a feeling of freedom. Many people go on vacation and spend money. The most common gateway for people is drugs. Our American society is facing a tremendous drug problem. It has become a highly controversial issue whether drugs such as marijuana should be legalized or not. Some people advocate this issue and believe that legalization is the only solution left for the nation while others oppose because it will increase the number of drug users and drug related crimes. Marijuana is a drug that is illegal in the United States. This drug as you know is bad and causes severe side effects to your brain and body. Marijuana has both short term and long term effects. However, according to scientific experiments, marijuana is known to be beneficial in medicine. The question is should marijuana be legalized? One of the consequences of legalization will be a tremendous increase in drug users. Right now, drug users have fear of law enforcement agents, but if drugs were to be legalized, they no longer will have fear and will feel that it will be okay to use drugs. Over twenty years ago, estimates of drug use among Americans went as high as 24 million, but we now estimate that the number of Americans who use illegal drugs is down to about 11 million. And a recent study done by my office shows that Americans are spending less on illegal drugs, not more. In 1993, Americans spent $49 billion on illegal drugs, down from $64 billion in 1988 (Brown 629). This decline is due to more officers on the streets and drug awareness programs. An increase in drug use will result in an increase in drug related crimes if drugs are legalized. Supporters of drug legalization believe that crime and...
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Should Marijuana Be Legalized? In society today, many people look for a feeling of freedom. Many people go on vacation and spend money. The most common gateway for people is drugs. Our American society is facing a tremendous drug problem. It has become a highly controversial issue whether drugs such as marijuana should be legalized or not. Some people advocate this issue and believe that legalization is the only solution left for the nation while others oppose because it will increase the number of drug users and drug related crimes. Marijuana is a drug that is illegal in the United States. This drug as you know is bad and causes severe side effects to your brain and body. Marijuana has both short term and long term effects. However, according to scientific experiments, marijuana is known to be beneficial in medicine. The question is should marijuana be legalized? One of the consequences of legalization will be a tremendous increase in drug users. Right now, drug users have fear of law enforcement agents, but if drugs were to be legalized, they no longer will have fear and will feel that it will be okay to use drugs. Over twenty years ago, estimates of drug use among Americans went as high as 24 million, but we now estimate that the number of Americans who use illegal drugs is down to about 11 million. And a recent study done by my office shows that Americans are spending less on illegal drugs, not more. In 1993, Americans spent $49 billion on illegal drugs, down from $64 billion in 1988 (Brown 629). This decline is due to more officers on the streets and drug awareness programs. An increase in drug use will result in an increase in drug related crimes if drugs are legalized. Supporters of drug legalization...
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Marijuana is the most popular and used illegal drug in the United States today. It is used from the ages as early as 13 to as late as unknown. Marijuana is ranked number two in terms of the most popular drugs legal and illegal next to alcohol. There are a lot of things that people don't know about marijuana and it's effects, and here is the truth. What is Marijuana? Half of the people smoking it don't even know where it came from in general. When you buy it from someone else however you will never really know where it came from or what is in it. Marijuana is a mixture of leaves, stems and flowering tops of the Indian hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. The psychoactive ingredient of marijuana is THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), and is concentrated in the flowering tops of the plant. Hashish is a drug prepared from the plant resin, and has about eight times more THC then the average marijuana. Marijuana has been around for hundreds of years. In Central Asia and China as early as 3000 B.C., Marijuana was used as a folk medicine. It was not until about the 1900's that it was used as a pleasure-inducing drug, and by the 1960's and 1970's it was used wide spread. Now in the year 2001 the use of marijuana is so wide spread that it is a really uncommon drug. Studies show that marijuana is about five times stronger then it was in the 1960's and 1970's. Marijuana grows throughout temperate regions, with more potent varieties produced in dry, hot, upland climates. With green houses marijuana can be grown just about anywhere. There are a numerous amounts names for marijuana. They are: Weed, Pot, Mary Jane, Greens, Grass, Dank, Ganja, Blunts, and Trees. The most common names though are...
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Why do these three statements sound contradictory? There is no reason all drugs have to be legalized to end the Drug War. The Drug War is destroying our cities and our Constitutional rights and must be ended. But across-the-board legalization is just as extreme as the Drug War and besides, it will never happen in America. Keeping drugs illegal is fundamental to solving the drug problem. Legalizing drugs would lead to a substantial increase in drug use and, even worse, an increase in drug abuse and addiction. Eighty percent of the drug problem's cost to society stems from drug use itself, the adverse health effects, loss of productivity and need for eventual treatment. When compared to the remaining twenty percent of the cost from law enforcement and drug-related crime, it is obvious that legalization makes as little sense financially for society as it does morally. Most Americans do not realize how extreme the Drug War actually is. Last year there were over 400,000 arrests for marijuana. The average time served in prison for selling marijuana is four years, compared with just one year for rape or manslaughter. The Government can search through garbage without probable cause, confiscate property without a trial and force you to prove your innocence to get it back, drug test your children and jeopardize their future, all in the name of the Drug War. The Drug War treats drug crime as more important than violent crime. It treats drug crime as more important than our God-given Constitutionally protected rights. Ending the Drug War is not about legalization. It is about ending extremism while maintaining a real commitment to solving America's drug problem. Maintaining this commitment provides an important argument that appeals to exactly the group that has the most to fear from marijuana legalization, parents. The fact is that...
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For many years the use of marijuana for medical purposes has been an issue of controversial discussion. Many claim that marijuana is a drug that has proven itself to be of no medical value in the treatment of terminal illnesses. Those who feel this way, usually ignore the long history of marijuana's medical uses; a history that goes back thousands of years ago. The drug has aided many people with the coping of terminal diseases. The use of marijuana as a medicinal herb has allowed many with no hope, to enjoy life more fully and lead rather decent life-styles. Marijuana has been erroneously classified as an addictive drug that causes unfixable psychological side effects. This may be true if marijuana is taken in heavy doses and for recreational purposes. The real fact however, is that this condition could occur with the abuse of any drug, whether it is legalized by the Medical Board or not. If marijuana is abused, it is being used in an abnormal manner, therefore possibly leading to severe emotional reactions and personality changes. Marijuana should be classified as a non-addictive drug thereby being legalized for medical purposes. The use of marijuana, under medical observation and through proper doses, in fact will not create a drug-addict, but rather it will enhance and increase the chances of a better life style. All throughout the different epochs of this world's history, cannibis sativa and cannibis indica, more commonly known as marijuana, has verified to its users its medicinal powers. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most active ingredient out of the already known 460 compounds found in cannibis. It is present in large amounts and is extremely psychoactive (Grinspoon and Bakalar). The first known record of marijuana use for medical purposes was in 2737 B.C. by a Chinese emperor by the name...
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I think that marijuana should be legal because it is no more harmful to you than cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine, which are legal right now. Marijuana, also known as pot, reefer, weed, bud, herb, ganja, grass, wacky tabacci, funky bhudda, green, indo, Mary Jane, hemp, kif, bones, etc. is a substance obtained from the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant. It is technically known as cannabis sativa and is a tall, widely cultivated Asian herb of the mulberry family. Here are some statistics for you to ponder over: ANNUAL AMERICAN DEATHS CAUSED BY DRUGS TOBACCO 400,000 ALCOHOL 100,000 ALL LEGAL DRUGS 20,000 ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS 15,000 CAFFEINE 2,000 ASPIRIN 500 MARIJUANA 0 ----------------------------------------------------- Source: United States government National Institute on Drug Abuse Bureau of Mortality Statistics I really find it funny that over 400,000 people have died from the use of tobacco products (be it smoking, or chewing), and over 100,000 people have died from drinking alcoholic beverages. Yet in 10,000 years of usage, no one has ever died from marijuana directly. Like any substance, marijuana can be abused. The most widespread problem attributed to marijuana is frequent overuse, which can induce lethargic behavior, but does not cause serious health problems. Marijuana can cause short-term memory loss, but only while under the influence. Marijuana does not impair long-term memory. Marijuana does not lead to harder drugs, if you get addicted; you have an addictive personality, so it's your fault. Marijuana does not cause brain damage, genetic damage, or damage the immune system. Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not kill brain cells or induce violent behavior. Incessant long-term smoking of marijuana can cause bronchitis, but the chance of contracting bronchitis from casual marijuana smoking is small. Respiratory health hazards can be totally eliminated by consuming marijuana via non-smoking methods, such as: ingesting marijuana via baked foods, tincture, or through a vaporizer. Marijuana was first harvested around...
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Just when really serious things like war, disease and a bummer economy threaten to make the media business a rather dreary realm, enter the downfall by drugs of Rush Limbaugh. The drama has spawned comparisons (he's the "new Elmer Gantry"), compassion (he's an addict and we should show mercy even if he didn't show it to others) and vengeful rebuke (talk about hypocrisy!). Yet the truth about Limbaugh's fall may be more mundane than anyone wants to admit, Limbaugh included. Beyond the cultural politics swirling outside his detox room door, one truth is clear: What you don't know can hurt you, especially when it comes to a little pill called Vicodin, one of the painkillers Limbaugh is said to have used. Anyone who's had a tennis injury, root canal or — at least on the Westside — a bad hangnail knows Vicodin is good stuff. Not only does it kill pain but it also, as "Permanent Midnight" author Jerry Stahl said about heroin, "makes you feel so good, you feel like calling the phone company and telling them what a good job they're doing." Between 1988 and 1998, the number of prescriptions written per year for first-time users — most of them middle- and upper-middle-class — of Vicodin and similar powerful painkillers grew from 500,000 to 1.6 million. Some of the people who got those prescriptions have undoubtedly become addicted to the euphoria they produce. And yet this aspect of Vicodin is little appreciated by the prescription-writing medical community. That is because critical, objective information about the drug — the kind we are accustomed to in these days of long FDA reviews and dramatic advisory committee meetings — is thin at best. Hydrocodone (the chemical name of Vicodin's primary ingredient along with acetaminophen) is one of hundreds of older drugs that were introduced...
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Lysergic acid diethlyamide (LSD) more commonly known in our culture as "acid," belongs to a group of illicit drugs classified as hallucinogens. Hallucinogens, when ingested, can cause severe hallucinations that may last anywhere from six to twelve hours depending on purity. Hallucinations are by definition "profound distortions in a person's perceptions of reality." The use of hallucinogens is not a new phenomenon. Psilocybin, peyote, and mescaline (derived from the peyote cactus) have been dated back thousands of years to ancient Indian religious ceremonies. An archeological dig in Mexico uncovered ancient writings, preserved by lava, that indicate the use of hallucinogens as long as four thousand years ago. Hallucinogens, especially LSD, were prominent in the hippie culture of the 1960s and 1970s, but their popularity declined during the 1980s, giving rise to harder substances such as cocaine. In 1972 it was reported that five percent of the nation, primarily under the age of eighteen, had experimented at least once with LSD. In 1974 that number had leapt to seventeen percent, and by 1979 the numbers were up to twenty-five percent. These numbers dropped steadily as heroine and cocaine gained popularity in the 1980's, but with the 1990's came another rise in the mainstream use of LSD. In 1992 nine percent of high school seniors had tried LSD. By 1996 that number had risen to thirteen percent and in 2000 declined to eleven percent. Acceptance of the drug has clearly risen as well. In 1991 ninety percent of high school students disapproved of even a single experimentation. By 1996 that number had dropped to eighty percent. As was the case in the sixties and seventies, the primary users were young white men and women, upper to middle class, who typically chose psychotropic substances as opposed to harder drugs. Although use of LSD was...
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Marijuana should be legalized. Marijuana's composition is complex, and has a number of physiological effects. Also, a reason for marijuana legalization is the potential wealth of health benefits that have largely been ignored (www.howardcc.edu). In addition, there are many industrial uses for the cannabis plant (www.sandi.net). Marijuana consists of a mixture of leaves, stems, and flowering tops of the Cannabis sativa plant, or hemp plant (Britannica 7/47). Marijuana is also known as grass, pot, tea, or weed. Both male and female plants contain psychoactive substances called cannabinoids. The ingredient in marijuana that produces most of the psychological and physiological effects is 1-delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC. THC effects primarily the nervous system and on the heart and blood vessels. Marijuana generally produces changes in mood, mental abilities, coordination, blood pressure, and pulse. These physiological factors result in a "high," including euphoria, relaxation and sleepiness (Marshall 76). Marijuana potentially has many health benefits that have been widely ignored. Marijuana holds the promise of being a treatment for glaucoma, chemotherapy-induced nausea, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS, among many others (www.howardcc.edu). In addition, the side effects of marijuana use, which include hunger and red eyes, are beneficial. The "munchies" (hunger) allow cancer and AIDS patients eat without becoming nauseous. The red eyes are a sign of vascular dilation which means marijuana could relieve migraine headaches (www.sandi.net). The problem is marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that the drug has no currently accepted medical use as a treatment in the United States. This restricts any research or experimentation to be made with marijuana. Many researchers have suggested that marijuana be promoted to Schedule 2 classification, which would allow it to be tested, allow it would still be illegal. In addition, the medical community is the place where marijuana legalization has received the most support (Marshall...
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Marijuana: A Horticultural Revolution, A Medical and Legal Battle For years there has been a wonder drug, which has befriended countless sick patients in a number of countries. A relatively inexpensive drug that is not covered by health care plans, which has aided the ill both mentally and physically--marijuana. Significant scientific and medical studies have demonstrated that marijuana is safe for use under medical supervision and that the cannabis plant, in its natural form, has important therapeutic benefits that are often of critical medical importance to persons afflicted with a variety of Life-threatening illnesses. Courts have recognized marijuana's medical value in treatment and have ruled that marijuana can be a drug of "necessity" in the treatment of glaucoma, cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. From the collection of information we now have on marijuana's health benefits for the ill, there is no longer any reason to keep it illegal. It should therefore be legal for licensed physicians to prescribe marijuana for terminal patients for whom it Offers the only reasonable opportunity for living without unbearable pain. Marijuana has been used many times to help ease pain and suffering. It often eases nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, reduces the pain of AIDS patients and lowers eye pressure in glaucoma sufferers. Cancer and AIDS patients often lose a lot of weight, either due directly to their illness or indirectly to the treatment of the illness. Dramatic weight loss puts there Lives in even more danger. Marijuana stimulates the appetite, thus enabling patients to eat more and gain weight, which in turn strengthens the immune system. So if there are so many benefits, then why is marijuana not legal? Many states contend that the ban on medical marijuana is necessary to prevent drug abuse and the availability of illicit drugs and to control the purity of medicinal drug products....
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Marijuana: Decriminalization or Legalization In high school when I first learned about the alluring world of illegal pharmaceuticals, I was scared. My fear was based on all my prior knowledge of drugs was from government propaganda and popular beliefs. Now I'm older, and more experienced about drugs. When did the America first begin to be wildly afraid of a plant that has been on this continent since our forfathers ()? America's fear of illicit drugs can be as far traced back as the prohibition era of the early 20th century. Pot, a nickname for the plant, is still illegal due in part to the bias government drug enforcement forces of the nineteen thirties and forties. Past propaganda and seeds of ignorance about marijuana still grow today in American. Marijuana has been used responsibly by cultures dated as far back as 3000 BC China (Jones, 2003). So how have Americans been brainwashed to believe marijuana is different than any other smokable plant? The earliest harvesting of marijuana specifically for smoking, or "getting stoned," was by the Scythians from Siberia around 700BC. Surely Marijuana has had a long history of medical used by the human race (Jones, 2003). Rastafarians base most of their key beliefs around the herb. The divinity of marijuana is central to their religious beliefs. Indian cultures have been smoking marijuana for a varieties of ways for thousands of years. Hinduism has a long tradition with marijuana use, having ancient prayers claiming that pot is a sacred herb. Of major world religions only Christianity has been a party pooper by consistently denying the divinity of weed (Jones, 2003). The Spanish Inquisition of the 12th century banned marijuana labeling it the work of the devil. Since that ancient papal decree, Christians have looked upon marijuana as a demon herb, with no medical...
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Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the dried leaves and flowering parts of the hemp plant. It is one of the most strictly classified illegal drugs in the United States. Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug, which defines it as having "a high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use. Marijuana is thus classified more severely than morphine and cocaine, which as Schedule II drugs are also banned for general use but can be prescribed by doctors. It is illegal to buy, sell, grow, or possess marijuana in the United States. Marijuana probation comprises a large part of the federal government's War on Drugs. Police made 600,000 marijuana-related arrests in 1995. Four out of five arrests being for possession alone. Under federal and state laws, many of which were strengthened in the 1980's, people convicted of marijuana offenses face penalties ranging from probation to life imprisonment, plus fines and forfeiture of property. Also, criminal justice efforts, the federal government, state governments, and local communities spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on preventative programs. Programs such as, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), in which local police officers visit schools to teach young people to abstain from trying marijuana and other drugs. Public controversy has been growing over the two assumptions, high abuse potential and no legitimate medical use, that underline marijuana's status as a Schedule I drug. In turn, disputes over the abuse and medical potential of marijuana have shaped differences of opinion over public policy. Many of those who question one or both of these assumptions about marijuana have advocated a full or partial relaxation of the government's blanket prohibition of the drug, while those who accept these assumption generally are opposed to any full or partial legalization of marijuana. Supporters...
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The medical community continues to expand our ability to handle life-threatening illnesses and prolong life. With that ability comes an extension of the treatments that patients must undergo. Many patients today refuse medical treatment that may save or prolong their life, out of a desire to avoid the unpleasant side affects associated with the treatment. In recent years it has been discovered that the use of Marijuana alleviates several symptoms associated with cancer and AIDS treatments and disorders. The patients are currently forced to choose between breaking the law to reduce symptoms or suffering life-changing symptoms rather than break the law. The conditions of AIDS and cancer are life threatening and many are not going to survive its attack. Medicinal marijuana should be legalized so that those who already suffer the disadvantage of disease, will not also be forced to suffer treatment symptoms that are easily corrected. It is interesting that during current history the use of marijuana is even up for debate (Medical Marijuana Legislation Overdue, 45). For many years it was an accepted treatment for the alleviation of symptoms of different disorders. Between 1840 and 1940 there were over 100 papers published in which the effectiveness of marijuana for medical use was praised. Physicians constantly reported success from the use of the drug in treating some disorders (Medical Marijuana Legislation Overdue, 46). According to those who published the papers, marijuana works medicinally by shutting down the nerves that allow pain to be transmitted from the brain to other areas of the body (Medical Marijuana Legislation Overdue, 39). In more recent years many chemotherapy patients have insisted that smoking marijuana relieved the nausea often associated with disease treatments (Medical Marijuana Legislation Overdue, 45). In addition patients with glaucoma have been proven to have pressure on their eyes relieved with the...
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