Should Marijuana be legalized for Medicinal Purposes?

Essay by lioness1327University, Master'sA+, June 2004

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Should Marijuana be legalized for Medicinal Purposes?

Legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes has been an extremely controversial topic, one that has it supporters who have long fought the opposition. Although marijuana has been used for thousand of years to provide relief from many health problems, it still remains an illegal drug in the United States. There are many doctors who support the effectiveness of the use of marijuana as treatment for many medical conditions. People who oppose the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes would claim that legalizing the drug would lead to abuse of the drug for recreational use. This is important claim for the opposition. However, after looking at all the information that has been gathered in regards to this topic, the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes would be more beneficial to the United States for many good reasons.

The drug, first cultivated at least 5000 years ago, began its life in China where it was used to make clothing, rope and the seeds were used to make oil for painting (Richardson 41).

The medicinal uses of the drug can be dated as far back as 4000 BC where the Chinese people discovered its medicinal value. About 2657 BC, Shen-Nung, an emperor, recommended marijuana as a cure for several health related problems (Stwertka 5). In America, marijuana as medicine dates back to the 1800s. An article by Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar in the Journal of American Medical Association states that "between 1840 and 1900, European and American medical journals published more than 100 articles on the therapeutic use of the drug known then as Cannabis Indica (or Indian hemp) and now as marihuana." At that time the drug was recommended to stimulate appetites and relax muscles (1875). Due to the taxation of the cultivation...