Pro-legalization of Medical Marijuana.

Essay by rachelisagomerHigh School, 12th gradeA-, November 2003

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Medical Marijuana

"Oh, Officer, you seem to have found my stash. Good thing I remembered my marijuana permit."

Although this statement may not be feasible in the United States as of yet, it has been in Canada for two years. In July 2001, the Canadian federal government legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since that time, the debate over marijuana usage has escalated in the United States.

Marijuana is effective in relieving nausea in AIDS patients, lowers optic nerve pressure in glaucoma patients, and is in general an intellectual stimulant. The old argument that marijuana use depreciates health and causes physical abnormalities has been disproven by recent studies. However, opponents of this measure now state that marijuana leads to criminal behavior, drug abuse, and drug addiction. Although these erroneous claims have been proven to be incorrect, right-wing conservatives have insisted upon the "moral backwardness" of legalizing the medical usage of marijuana.

The beginning of the United States' anti-marijuana propaganda campaign began when ex-president Richard Nixon passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Marijuana was placed on Schedule I, lumped together with heroin and other hallucinogens, and was said to have "no accepted medical utility." Cocaine and morphine, drugs commonly abused, were placed in the less disreputable Schedule II, classified as drugs with medicinal value. There really is no feasible cause to categorize marijuana as a more harmful drug than cocaine and morphine. As scientific studies have now clarified, marijuana could actually be good for your health.

In 1988, judge Francis Young, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administrative law judge stated that, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." Although he conceded that marijuana possesses medicinal value, the DEA did not remove marijuana from the Schedule I list. Because...