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Should Marijuana be Legal?

Should it be Legal? Marijuana Legislation in America

In 1978 the state legislator of New Mexico made a law allowing physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from nausea caused by chemotherapy, much of this due to the efforts of a cancer patient by the name of Lynn Pierson. The Federal government modified the law to make it comply with IND regulations requiring a research program. The FDA also demanded many studies and required the doctors to fill out many pages of forms for every patient and documenting their progress, slowing the process to a stand still. This process of getting marijuana to the patients was taking so long that New Mexico officials considered using confiscated marijuana from the state highway patrol. In August of 1978 Lynn Pierson, who worked so hard for the legalization of marijuana, died of cancer without ever receiving legal marijuana. A few weeks later the Federal Government suspended the marijuana program. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics reasons for making marijuana illegal were that it was highly addictive and caused violent crimes. Today neither of those reasons has been backed by much data and many experts believe the opposite. According to the National Household Survey on drug abuse, more than 76 million Americans admit to trying marijuana. Along with those who value marijuana: for recreational reasons, many doctors say that it has medicinal uses as well. The government should look at these facts and consider the legalization of marijuana.

There are many arguments against the legalization of marijuana. One commonly held view is marijuana is "gateway drug" or a drug that opens the door for harder drug use such as cocaine or heroin. The Institute of Medicine disagrees, and in their 1999 report they explained that marijuana has been mistaken for a "gateway drug" in the past because patterns in adolescence drug use is strikingly regular. Because it is the most commonly used illicit drug, it is likely that it is the first illegal drug that people try. Most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine, before they use marijuana (Joy 32).

Another complaint about marijuana is that it is a dangerous drug that causes permanent brain damage. Dr. Iversen of Oxford University says, "Cannabis does not cause structural damage to the brains of animals as some reports had claimed, nor is there evidence of...

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Category:   Drug Policy

Length:   5 pages (1,102 words)

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