Argues for the decriminalization of medicinal marijuana.

Essay by msi42High School, 11th gradeA+, February 2003

download word file, 9 pages 3.0

Gordon Hanson, an epileptic, served six months in a jail cell in Minnesota. Byron Stamate spent three months in a California jail when he tried to help his disabled girlfriend. Gordon Farrell Ethridge spent 60 days in an Oregon cell, though he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Will Forster was sentenced to spend more than 90 years in an Oklahoma jail, despite the fact that he suffered from chronic pain. These four people were all unjustly forced to serve time for trying to self-medicate with marijuana. As a result of the sentences, Hanson served his time despite his sporadic seizures. Stamate's girlfriend committed suicide so she would not have to testify against her boyfriend. Ethridge served his time while enduring the side effects caused by chemotherapy

treatments. And Forster still sits in a jail cell, continuing to have chronic pain (Marijuana Policy


There are only seven people allowed by federal law to use marijuana medicinally, though tens of thousands of people use it as a medicine nationwide (MPP).

For some people, legal medical options have been proven unsafe or ineffective, leading them to consider marijuana. Their only options are to either continue to suffer from their ailment or break the law, forcing them to worry about the trauma of getting caught. If this happened, their house would be

searched and they would be handcuffed and escorted away in a police car. They may serve time in jail, eventually having to deal with court costs and attorney fees. Probation would result in urine tests, preventing the use of medicinal marijuana. The patient could lose their job, resulting in inability to pay for insurance or their bills. They would also get the reputation of being a "druggie," making doctors reluctant to prescribe pain medication to them, even if they...