Legalization of Marijuana
A hot topic in this day and age that has many United States lawmakers, reformists, and citizens alike battling is the issue of legalizing marijuana. There are many benefits in the legalization of marijuana. There are several organizations throughout the United States that support the legalization of marijuana, including NORML, the Reform party, and many citizens as well. In the United States, marijuana is considered to be a Scheduled I controlled substance. This means the marijuana is considered to be a drug that can be easily abused (www.NORML.com). The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, also known as NORML, has made attempts to get the Drug Enforcement Agency to reschedule marijuana, but have been rejected at all attempts.
One of the main reasons marijuana should be legalized is for its many medicinal uses. Marijuana has had a long history of use as a medicine. Many lobbyist groups such as the Cannabis Action Network and Indiana Civil Liberties Union believe that marijuana is a beneficial herb, and not a harmful drug. As of right now, eight states have passed medical marijuana initiatives. Those states are "Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Nevada and Washington. Arizona and California voters approved medical marijuana laws in 1996. Voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington approved laws in 1998. Voters in Maine approved their medical marijuana initiative in 1999. Voters in Colorado and Nevada approved medical marijuana laws in 2000. District of Columbia voters approved an initiative in 1998 with 69 percent of the vote, but Congress later overrode the law (NORML)".
The Medicinal Plant Garden, at the University of Mississippi, is part of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been growing Marijuana for the past four years. The main chemical in marijuana is THC. This chemical shows up in capsule form known as Marinol, which contains 95% THC. Marinol "is used for nausea and vomiting problems in cancer patients as well as fighting the wasting sickness, or anorexia-cachexia, suffered by 70 to 90 percent of AIDS patients (Yates, 1)." The garden is currently working on a suppository form of THC to replace the Marinol.
Marijuana's pain alleviating benefits have shown up in patients who suffer from glaucoma (an eye disease that causes blindness), cancer, and AIDS. "These days, the medical profession has found several applications for the marijuana plant. The medicine, tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, (the active ingredient in marijuana) has been found again and again to help patients battling the life-threatening diseases of cancer and AIDS to fight the intense nausea that causes their wasting sickness. Marijuana also helps glaucoma victims by reducing the intraocular pressure. It reduces, sometimes eliminating altogether, the seizures of epileptic patients, along with reducing nerve disorders of multiple sclerosis patients. A recent discovery by a South Florida doctor concerns the fact that if THC is placed in a test tube with the herpes virus, the THC will kill the herpes virus (Yates, 2)." Marijuana can be used as medicine for nausea, appetite stimulation, and stimulation of the immune system, relief from vomiting, anxiety, depression, and asthma. It is also interesting to note that Marijuana is used in various cultures for their medicinal purposes. Israel scientists have recently found the skeleton of a fourth century woman who they believed died in childbirth. Ashes nearby were found to be the burned remains of the cannabis, or marijuana, plant. The scientists say this suggests that ancient Middle Eastern women used inhaled marijuana smoke to reduce labor pains (Yates, 2). "
Another study, that has just been completed this past year, is the use of Marijuana for the Multiple Sclerosis patient. According to Newsday, patients that used Marijuana reported some improvement in pain relief, rigidity and mobility. Doctors...
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