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Why Marijuana Should be Legalized, an argu mentative essay
Article · June 2011
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MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGALIZED
By Luke Crocker Thursday, June 09, 2011
Much debate has been conducted regarding the legalization of marijuana , with an unusual
amount of contradicting research. There are many perspectives to take into account, and they always
seem to come down to the personal motives of the debater. Whether its being argued from a medical,
political, or economical perspective; it continually co mes down to whether Federal Government should
be our dictators or we should be responsible for our actions.
The Canadian medical Association Journal reports many testimonies of the successful use of
medical marijuana. One such case is Jean Charles Pariseau (30) who is an AIDS patient. Were he to stick
to his legally prescribed medications, Mr. Pariseau would probably be dead now [Gray] . He was unable
to keep food or medication in his system, weighed only 82 pounds, was bed ridde n, and getting worse.
His doctor Kelby reports that, He is doing remarkably well because he can now digest his medications
The HIV has been suppressed because of his improved immune function, he has put on weight and he
has lea rned to walk again, with a cane [Gray] . Marijuana has shown to alleviate , and in some cases
stunt or repress the development and expansion of HIV, AIDS, multiple sclerosis , Glaucom a, Epilepsy ,
and many other ailments that affect millions of people around the world [Gray] .
The Chinese have used Cannabis throughout history, the earliest evidence being that of the
Shennung Ben Ts ao King (????? ). This documents origin has been attributed to Emperor
Shennung who has said to have lived around 2,800 BCE. Within its volumes is written a vast explanation
of the use of plants and herbs regarding medicine ,
and in the section regarding Ma (Cannabis ; ? ),
great detail is written about the preparation and
purpose of the herb, they literally used ever y part
of the plant, but never smoked it as smoke is bad
for the Ch i. For example the flowers of the
cannabis plant was used to relieve menstrual
disorders and open wounds, while the seeds were
prescribed for internal use for post -partum
difficulties, aco nite poisoning, vermillion
poisoning, const ipation, and obstinate vomiting
[Smith] . This Document does warn against
excessive use of the herb because it may cause
hallucinations and a staggering gait.
Figure 1 A modern transcription of the Shennung Ben Ts’ao
King , regarding the Chinese medical use of herb s. (University
In America, marijuana has been legalized and is even sold publically to those with the
appropriate permit . Currently there are fifteen states that have enacted laws that legalize marijuana 1
[Procon.org] Unfortunately the federal government overrules such state laws as unconstitutional.
Although the populace has voted in favor of legalizing the medical use of this substance , the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) can arrest, charge, and otherwise impose upon the people of
America for the personal, recreational, and medicinal use of Marijuana as per the Controlled Substances
Act (CSA) . [D.E.A.] According to an online survey involving 1010 adults from across Canada , 53% support
legalizing Marijuana [Canseco] , this shows that the Majority of Canadians also support the use of
marijuana. This shows that the current laws in both America and Canada are not supporting the peoples
demands which suggest that theres more involved than is publically kno wn. The most common suspect
is that it would be difficult to tax this controlled substance.
Regarding the economical angle of this topic, several
important studies and statistics have been brought up. Firstly,
according to the Canadian Police Association , there were
29,562 marijuana related arrests in 2009, while America had
1,663,582 during the same time. [US Department of Justice]
This shows that an enormous amount of money is needed to
keep up with these crimes, while it could instead be taxed.
Jeffery A. Miron, the professor of economics at the University
of Boston discusses the potential legalization and the
implications th at it may have on the economy of
Massachusetts in his paper The budgetary implications of
marijuana legalization in Massachusetts . According to the
paper, Massachusetts would save $120.6 million annually in
government expenditure towards criminal justice enforcement . Similarly, the state would also yield tax
revenue of $16.9 million annually . [Miron]
It may also seem silly that the human race has been using this herb for thousands of years for its
medi cinal purposes and only in the past hundred years has it become a prohibited substance because of
those who may abuse their bodies with it as a narcotic. Although , its abuse pales considerably when
compared to that of legal pharmaceuticals such as oxycodon e (a pain -killer that is derived from opium),
or ketamine (a cat tranquilizer ). Both of these prescription drugs are legal, readily available at any
shoppers drug mart, and are extensively abused recreationally. These pharmaceuticals are also highly
addic tive, cause a myriad of damaging short and long -term side -effects, as well as a very real chance of
fatality in those that continue its use. [Hanson] [Hargreaves, Hill , Iversen] These facts strongly suggest
that it is the easy taxation of these drugs that make them legal. On the other hand , marijuana has been
home -grown for thousands of years and is a sturdy plant, therefore easy to grow.
1 Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Maine , Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New jersey, New Mexico,
Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. [Procon.org]
Figure 2 Cannabis leaf (experimental growth
project, Calgary, Alberta).
Considering the above facts, were the medi cinal and/or recreational use of marijuana be
legalized, many medical issues can be solved, our government will show that it can still function as the
democracy it claims to be, and millions of dollars more will be available to be put towards our nations
debt. That is something that has been pushed down the governmental priority list for many years and
needs to be taken seriously as the very nature of our democracy is at stake over this .
Canseco, mario. “”majority of canadians wou ld legalize marijuanan, but not other drugs.”” 15 April 2010.
Angus reid Public Opinions. 17 January 2011 .
D.E.A. MARIJUANA . March 2010. 17 January 2011 .
Gray, Charlotte. “”Legalize use of marijuana for medical.”” 10 Febuary 1998. National Center for
Biotechnology Information. Ed. Charlotte Gray. canadian Medical Association. 12 January 2011
Hanson, G. R. OxyContin: Balancing Risks and Benefits . 30 January 2003. 19 January 2011
Hargreaves, R. J., R. G. Hill and L. L. Iversen. “”Neuroprotective NMDA antagonists: the controversy over
their potential for adverse effects on cortical neuronal morphology.”” Acta Neurochirurgica.
Supplementum (1994): 60: 15 -9.
Miron, Jeffery A. “”The Budge tary inplications of Marijuana Legalization in Massachusetts.”” August 2003.
Change the Climate. Boston University. 12 January 2011 .
Procon.org. 15 legal medical marijuana states and DC . 7 December 2010. 1 7 January 2011
Smith, frederik Porter. Chinese Materia Medica: Vegitable Kingdom . Shanghai: American Presbyterian
US Department of Justice. Crime in the United States 2009 . Sep tember 2010. U.S. federal Government.
16 January 2011 .
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