The Criminalization of Marijuana

Essay by chris22000College, UndergraduateA+, November 2006

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The Unjust Criminalization of Medical Marijuana

Earlier this year, a 71 year old cancer patient was arrested and fined $25,000 for growing medical marijuana behind his home (1). In the same year, police raided the home of a 68 year old AIDS patient, simply because he was using medical marijuana to help cope with his disease. These are just a few of the 300 individuals who are arrested each year for using medical marijuana. These individuals are not thieves, nor are they murderers or drug dealers. They are hard working men and women who are trying to cope with a disease that will one day kill them. Yet instead of recognizing this, the government sends police into their homes, confiscates their goods, and then prosecutes them to fullest extent of the law. And in the end, these individuals either fined thousands of dollars, or sent to jail simply because they used a safe, non-addictive substance to help cope with a disease that is slowly killing them from the inside out.

This to me is unacceptable. How can a government that is founded upon the ideas of freedom and justice, persecute elderly men and women for using a safe and non-addictive substance to help treat a life threatening disease? How can a government stand by while hard working men and women are thrown into prisons and fined thousands of dollars, simply because they used a natural substance to help them cope with a disease that is slowly killing them? I believe that there needs to be a change today. Our government needs to understand that marijuana is not a dangerous drug. In fact, marijuana has not only been scientifically proven to be safe, but has also been shown to be effective for medical purposes and could even hold the key to...