Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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I was the director of the class action lawsuit for therapeutic cannabis. In that capacity, I interviewed over 500 patients who needed marijuana. They ranged in age from 14 to 86. Their illnesses were as common as severe headaches to phantom pain of an amputated limb. Many quads and paraplegics were on our roster because marijuana soothed their unbearable spasms and gave them hope and a reason to live.

Marijuana is an ancient herb that was used for nearly every problem - both physical and mental - by nearly every culture that we have knowledge about. Our own culture used it up until just 60 years ago. That's when the pharmaceutical companies began to realize that they could not make money on a plant - and the conspiracy began. But the truth is now emerging. The people of the world are petitioning their governments to end this futile war on drugs - and especially on this beneficial herb.

Marijuana balances the autonomic nervous system, which is why it is so helpful for such a wide array of medical problems. Once our bodies become balanced, we regain a sense of well-being, we breathe more fully, more relaxed. Our minds are brought gently back to sanity because our chemistry is no longer swinging up and down as it does with the modern drugs. Marijuana is a stimulant/sedative - simultaneously - so that there is no up and down as with uppers and downers like cocaine and alcohol. When we go up, then our bodies must crash - this is the stage of addiction of which marijuana is not part.

Just know the truth and you can be armed to change the hideous deprivation that our country is responsible for. All over the world prohibition is going down the tubes. Only in America, where we consume the most drugs, electricity, beef and marijuana, are the laws at the federal level continuing to protect the pharmaceutical companies and the prison industry. In the rest of the world, people are beginning to step away from this mean-spirited, profit-driven American war on drugs.