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Pros and cons of Marijuana legalization

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 2528 words Published: 5th May 2017

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Who would have thought that one green plant, Cannabis sativa, could create so much controversy throughout the centuries? The debate on medical marijuana has been around since the 17th and 18th century. The debate if marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug, or a helpful medication for pain reliever, preventing vomiting, and treatment of glaucoma (Schwartz, 1994).Science has proven the medical benefits marijuana brings to the field of medicine. Although the American justice system is still undecided about the facts and safety of marijuana, and if marijuana should be legalized, some states have accepted the legalization of marijuana such as California. Many other states are still debating the pros and cons of marijuana’s legalization. If marijuana was legalized and regulated it could save lives, help our economy grow in this economic downturn, and let our national security system attend to more alarming issues.

Allegar, I. (2000). A factual guide to medical uses of marijuana. Townsend

Letter for Doctors & Patients Dec2000, (209), 121.

This is the only book that presents many of the scientific facts about medical marijuana. Facts such as the origin of where marijuana plants came from, to facts about President Regan’s term, where the war on drugs began which gave marijuana a bad reputation. My favorite line from this article sums up why marijuana should be legalized. “A primary fact is the proven safety of this plant- no one has ever died, overdosed, or even become ill from using marijuana. So how did this green leaf plant get such a bad reputation?”(Allegar, 2000, p.209)

This quote presents a great argument for the legalization of marijuana. Other drugs cause people to overdose and die, yet those drugs are legalized. So what is the problem with legalization of marijuana?

Arias, d. (2007). Health findings. Nation’s Health, 37(3), 16.

This article talks about many public health findings of medical marijuana. The discovery that marijuana relieves pain for patients that suffer from peripheral neuropathy, a nerve condition that is present in those affected with HIV (Arias, 2007). The marijuana relieved pain by 34%.Another amazing statistic is that the patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy reduced their chronic pain by 72% when smoking their first marijuana cigarette (Arias, 2007, 16). The placebo cigarette was not even comparable.

This article presents good documentation of public health findings on marijuana. The procedure is organized well and easy to understand the benefits that marijuana presents in the experiment. In the research collected, this article makes the strongest point of how effective marijuana is as a pain reliever. With such high statics how can our government not legalize marijuana?

Boire, R, & Feeney, K. (2006). Medical marijuana law. Oakland, CA: Ronin

Publishing Inc

The book covers every question to what marijuana is, to why it is legal in some states. Also the book explains how the state law and federal law are two different things, and the federal law always wins. This book also brings a more in-depth explanation on marijuana history and the medical benefits. The book talked about two different alternatives to smoking marijuana such as Marinol and sativex. The pros and cons are listed for each drug. The book also explained the procedure of seeing a doctor and getting registration for the marijuana, where a safe place is to get the marijuana, and what the regulations are for growing your own marijuana plants. The book explains how to deal with the federal system and possession of marijuana. The book lists the amount of marijuana that is legal for each state.

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Boire and Fenney gave more information on the marijuana tax act of 1937. This book also makes the clear distinction on the federal law vs. state law. The most useful information I found in the book was the description on the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, which are: “AIDS, cancer, cachexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, multiple sclerosis, seizures, and severe nausea” (Boire, & Fenny, 2006, p.5).Another great part of the book is about the doctor’s role in prescribing the marijuana. Some states require a copy of the doctor’s license and signed physician statement (Boire, & Feeney, 2006).The different forms of medical marijuana makes a great argument on why it should be legalize. Marinol, which contains synthetic THC, is a better option than smoking marijuana because, smoking is harmful. The down fall with the synthetic THC, is it does not produce the same pain relieving effect (Boire, &Feeney, 2006). The book also talks about the patient’s rights and restrictions about medical marijuana. This information helped me better understand both sides of the debate.

Durand, M. (2007). Considering cannabis. Inside MS Jun/Jul2007, 25(3), 56-57.

The article deals with the medical affects that Cannabis (marijuana) has on patients with multiple sclerosis. The marijuana helps prevent vomiting and muscle spasm. Experiments were done on rats to prove the medical benefit of marijuana. Some of the reverse side effects of marijuana are also listed.

This article helps back up my thesis with the proof of medical facts to legalize marijuana. The drug is helpful with patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis. With dosage controlled and overseen by a physician I feel there is no reason to have these patients suffer and not be able to have marijuana.

Garner-Wizard, M. (2006). FDA denies medicinal value of smoked marijuana. . HerbalGram Sep-Dec2006, 25(72), 22.

This article is very interesting; because attention is brought to what party the U.S. government or medical system is lying. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) says that there is no medical proof of medical marijuana. The FDA also argues that no science experiment on animals has been conducted and documented. The medical system talks about the lack of faith they have with the FDA. Medical experts do not believe that it is a communication error between the science departments and government officials, rather than the government does not want to accept the medical facts and legalize marijuana. The government wants to keep a strong stand on drugs.

This article is perfect for playing devils’ advocate on the debate of medical marijuana. Medical experts have the facts and experiments in books and other science journal researched in this paper. So if the public can receive these written documents why is the government unable to? This article also presents the question of what is the true motivatation of not legalizing marijuana. What else is the government keeping from us?

Krisberg, k. (2009). Fight for reform of U.S. drug policies slowly

Making headway. [cover story]. Nation’s Health, 39(8), 1-10.

Krisberg has presented facts and many view points from different medical experts. The reading is hard to understand what party believes what. The main concept retained from this reading is the president Barack Obama says “he has the willingness to put science before policies” (Krisberg, 2009, p.7) Meaning he would put opinions and policies aside and make a decision based on facts.

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While this article was difficlulent to understand and follow, the article is somewhat humorous. The president suggests he will move the legalization of medical marijuana if facts are presented. This entire annotated bibliography is filled of sources with many facts on the benefits of marijuana. So what is the hold up? Why has marijuana only been legalized in some states, and even then the federal law has many regulation and restrictions. What kind of facts are the government looking for. How can the American society observe the medical benefits of medical marijuana, but our public officials cannot? This creates a great viewpoint to think about while researching.

Marandino, c. (1998). Fired up. Vegetarian Times, (247), 18.

This article is a little old but still presents a great point. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend that marijuana does present some medical benefits for serious illnesses. The American Medical Association also agreed that marijuana had some medical benefits. The public views are also document about the legalization of marijuana.

This article prevents proof that medical research has been conducted and presented to the public. This article was written in 1998, and even though medical facts have been presented for medical marijuana many still opposed the idea of legalization. Marijuana has been viewed as a dangerous drug for centuries. No matter how many statics and facts are presented on why marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes, can change the mind of the American justice system.

Marijuana. (2007). Marijuana fast facts, 1-2.

This article presented some common background information. Because this was the first article researched, on the quest to understand the legalization of medical marijuana it was very helpful. To understanding the scientific name of the drug, to understanding the positive and negative aspects of marijuana, this article was very helpful. After reading this article and gaining some background knowledge, the more in-depth and complicated articles were easier to follow.

Some of the information about the problem facing federal and state laws conflicting the legalization of medical marijuana. Also the information about marijuana being a risk and side effects that come with the drug will be helpful in presenting both sides of the debate.

Marijuana and future psychosis. (2007). Nutrition Health Review: The Consumer’s Medical Journal , (98), 17.

This article argues against the legalization of medical marijuana. All of the information in the article is about the life long lasting side effects of marijuana. How the use of marijuana can lead to psychosis and severe mood changes.

There are two view points to very argument. While there is not sufficient medical evidence shown in this document to oppose the legalization of marijuana, this side still must be presented. The main reason for this view point is because of the side effects of marijuana. Like any other drug, marijuana has side effects. Some side effects are more harmful than those of marijuana, yet they are still legal.

Minamide, E. (2007). Medical marijuana. Framington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.

Minamide organized his text to show both sides of the legalization of marijuana debate. Some of the key topics are if medical marijuana is effective medical treatment or not. If the legalization of medical marijuana would negatively impact society or not, and finally if the federal government should ban medical marijuana or not.

Debra J. Saunders argues that marijuana should be legalized because it can help many serious illnesses. Saunders believes that “congress should move marijuana out of the classification of Schedule I drug, a caterogory that includes more serious drugs like heroine, to a Schedule II drug , like cocaine and morphine, which are available for medical use”(Minamide,2007,p.12). Medical experts have facts that prove marijuana as a helpful medicine. Experts in medicane also believe the drug should be moved into the Schedule II drug. On the opposing viewpoints the book highlights a key point that “harm of medical marijuana may outweigh the medical benefits” (Minamide, 2007, p.34). Smoking in itself is harmful to the respiratory system regardless if it relieves pain and prevents nausea. Another great point highlighted in the book is if the legalization would negatively impact society. Mark R.Trouville says that the “legalization of marijuana would interfere with the undermine law enforcement efforts to combat drug trafficking and would send a dangerous message that marijuana is a harmless substance” (Minamide, 2007, p.38). The book also plays devil advocate and presents arguments for the legalization of marijuana that help my thesis out.

Schwartz, H. (1994). Psychiatric practice under fire the influence of government, the media, and special interest on somatic therapies. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric press, Inc.

The book gave facts on medical marijuana and the battle it has been facing for years. The book was written in the 1994 so the legal status was not up to date. Although, the history of marijuana and the medical benefits it had was very informational. The book also broke down the main ingredient in marijuana, and describes how they had medical benefits. A lot of case experiments proved medical marijuana helped the patient. The book also talked about the historic time line of marijuana. From the beginning of time when marijuana came from India in the 17th and 18th century, to Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 all the way to 1942 when American framers started to grow hemp for rope in World War II.

The helpful information presented in this book had some general background information of marijuana. The author talked about “THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main ingredient of marijuana. In 1895 THC was approved by the Food and Drug administration (FDA). The FDA noted that THC was combating nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.”(Schwartz, 1994, p.106) The book also noted three main reasons why medical marijuana should be legalized. The first of the three reasons is to treat glaucoma. The next main reason was to relieve nausea, and last but not least is to stimulate appetite. I think that congress should look at all of the medical facts about medical marijuana and how it relieves pain for cancer patients and also prevents vomiting. In today’s medical world there are a lot of addictive drugs used as pain relievers. Yet these drugs are legalized. The legalization of medical marijuana could help our economy grow. The last piece of information presented in this book was a great example of why marijuana should be legalized.

In August 1992, for example, Valarie Corral, a 40-year-old woman from Santa Cruz, California, who smoked marijuana for 18 years to control epileptic seizures, was arrested for growing five plants in a vegetable garden near her porch (Rogers 1993).Under California Law, she faced up to 3 years for her offense.

Valarie did not get sentenced 3 years for her plants; the judge understood her medical purpose for them. Valarie’s doctor reported her prescription for medical marijuana to help with her spastic muscles when she had seizures. Before her muscles were out of control and she complained of pain. Once she started smoking marijuana when she felt a seizure coming along, her seizures were not as intense or long. This is just one example of how medical marijuana has positively impacted a life. Now Valarie can drive a car and perform day to day tasks thanks to help of marijuana she can live her life.


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