Legalization of marijuana; comparison to alcohol and cigarettes

Essay by infamousJCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Dating back at least to the year 2737 B.C., there has been one plant that has been misunderstood. Marijuana has a very beneficial, although unconventional use in the medical world. Eighty percent of Americans think marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes, and seventy-two percent feel that perpetrators should be fined, not jailed, for the possession of the drug (Arrowhead). It is quite clear that marijuana is not nearly as detrimental to society as cigarettes or alcohol.

One would think that the United States government would try and make the lives of those suffering from disease slightly easier, yet marijuana is only legal for medicinal purposes in seven out of fifty states. People suffering from life-threatening diseases today live every day with pain and agony. These patients deal with their ailments with placebo, despite the fact that marijuana has been proven more effective than placebo, and reduces the need for highly addictive pain killers (MAPS).

Most patients who are HIV-positive or undergoing chemotherapy have trouble consuming food. With the use of marijuana, these people would develop more of an appetite, and in most cases be able to hold down their food much easier. Studies have shown that marijuana can also be used as a therapeutic agent in treating several conditions such as multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, epilepsy, and quadriplegia (Marijuana). Marijuana has also been proven to reduce eye pressure in glaucoma sufferers by twenty-five percent (Academic Library).

Cigarettes alone kill roughly 430,000 people a year. Furthermore, one in every three tobacco smokers will become addicted to cigarettes. In addition, there are currently 110,000 alcohol related deaths per year. Statistics show that fifteen percent of drinkers will become addicted to alcohol, while the Justice Department admits that alcohol is a factor in more than forty percent of all murders (United). Alcohol poison...