The Importance of Legalizing Marijuana

Essay by shortness84College, UndergraduateA+, October 2007

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It is important to legalize marijuana because it has been proven beneficial for medical and therapeutic use. "…the study team found that substantial consensus among experts…on the scientific evidence about potential medical uses of marijuana." (1999, Institute of Medicine) Studies yield results contradicting previous beliefs that marijuana is extremely hazardous and even fatal. Marijuana is illegal to possess, distribute, buy and grow in most of the United States, while alcohol, a proven poison, is sold to anyone over the age of 21. This drug has been found to offer aid in numerous medical conditions and like any drug which benefits humankind, marijuana should be made available for those who need it.

Marijuana is a naturally grown plant which is most often smoked, although it can also be ingested as well as vaporized. This drug induces in the user a relaxed and even euphoric state. Dry-mouth, increased appetite, blood-shot eyes and forgetfulness are other common side effects from using marijuana.

As with any drug, certain individuals may react differently to the drug. It has been concluded that, aside from the adverse effects from smoke inhalation, marijuana carries the same level of typical side effects as any prescription pain-reliever. (2002, Institute of Medicine)Marijuana is classified as a drug because it alters a person's mood. As it is classified as a drug, there are risks involved with its use. This particular drug may cause temporary short-term memory loss, which corrects after THC has left the system. Marijuana use during adolescence may delay puberty in males and use by females may disrupt reproductive fertility. However, there has not been confirmed evidence of either effect. (1995, Open Society Institute) It has been claimed that the use of this drug during pregnancy may result in low birth-weight of the infant, though this may also be caused...