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Essay/Term paper: Pass the weed

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Alcohol and Drugs

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Pass The Weed

The cries of conservatives across America has grown to a riotous roar.
The problem is that the long-standing and unjust prohibition of the psychoactive
drug marijuana has been lifted by voters in Arizona and California. Under the
new law, doctors can prescribe marijuana to those patients who can possibly
benefit from the drug's medicinal purposes. Used for alleviating pain and
suffering, the drug can provide needed relief for many people. However, to the
concerned, it appears that with the new propositions government has granted
permission to posses and consume a drug that has been banned for decades. The "
smoke" has yet to settle in Washington, but a reaction to the new laws from the
federal government seems unlikely. Optimistic supporters hope that similar
policies and propositions will soon come to voters in other states.
The debate over the legalization of Cannabis Sativa, more commonly known
as marijuana, is currently one of the more heated controversies in the country
today. The drug has been unrightfully prohibited since the 1930's for its
dangerous effects. However, earlier and more primitive cultures were able to
safely explore marijuana's usage for both medicinal and hallucinogenic
properties. The usage of marijuana has existed for thousands of years in many
countries world wide and can be documented as far back as 2700 BC in ancient
Chinese writings. In the earlier cultures, marijuana usage was accepted and its
effects documented. However, the United States government overlooked all of the
information and banned the drug. Recently, however, there has been a resurgence
in the opinion of the drug's positive medicinal purposes.
Studies on the medicinal uses of marijuana have been conducted on many
patients that suffer from various health problems. In patients with the AIDS,
the drug served as a beneficial way to stimulate appetite. Thousands of AIDS
patients already use marijuana illegally for this condition and have reported
excellent results. For those AIDS victims, marijuana can reduce the nausea,
vomiting, and loss of appetite that are common to the syndrome. Another medical
function for marijuana is to combat glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in
the United States. Glaucoma is an eye disease that results from pressure that
builds up over time and causes great pain and vision loss to sufferers. In the
glaucoma patients, marijuana can aid in relieving the intraocular pressure on
the eyeball, and thereby alleviate the pain and sometimes stopping the progress
of the condition. Multiple sclerosis is another incurable condition that could
benefit from the legalization of marijuana. The disease disrupts the normal
functioning of the nerves in the brain and the spinal cord. The common agonizing
symptoms include tingling, numbness, impaired weakness, difficulty in speaking,
painful muscle spasms, loss of coordination and balance, fatigue, weakness or
paralysis, loss of bladder control, urinary tract infections, constipation, skin
ulcers, and severe depression. Cannabis , because of its relaxing qualities has
a startling and profound effect on the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. For the
sufferers it stops muscle spasms, reduces tremors, restores balance, restores
bladder control, and restores speech and eyesight. Many wheelchair-bound MS
patients report that after smoking marijuana they can walk.
Those who oppose the medical usage of marijuana argue that the American
Health Association neither accepts nor believes that marijuana serves any
purpose in medicine. Doctors claim that there is a great risk that results from
smoking the drug. Inhaling any burning substance is harmful to the lungs and
could eventually produce detrimental effects including cancer. Despite
cannabis' known adverse effects to lung function, it has never been reported to
cause a single instance of lung cancer. On the other hand, tobacco, a legal and
readily accessible poison, is expected to kill 400,000 people this year. A
solution to the doctors' concerns would be to consume marijuana through
alternative methods of ingestion that cause diminished effects on bodily health;
smoking the drug with a different apparatus or ingesting it without smoking
could greatly decrease the harmful effects to the human body.
Currently, according to the current laws of the United States government,
possessing, selling, or using marijuana is illegal. The federal government is
proud of its tough policy on illegal drugs. As citizens, we are all thankful
to live in an environment protected from the unregulated drug market and crime
that would likely from an unrestricted drug trade. But the opportunities that
are missed and the pain and suffering endured from the prohibition of marijuana,
are oppression not protection. Our country was founded on a policy of democracy,
where people decide what is best for government. The decision of marijuana
legalization should be given to the voters just as in Arizona and California.
For too long there has been a ban on marijuana, and it is time for the public to
join together and force a change. Someday soon perhaps voters and officials
will be able to sit together and join in the tradition of passing the peace pipe.


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