Legalize It

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John Strazza
Nadav Lipkin
English Composition I
4/20/11
“Legalize It”
Marijuana should be legalized by the American government, not just for medical use, but for every use that it has to offer. The pros of marijuana far outweigh any cons. It can be utilized in health care for those who are in need, save the country billions of dollars that currently is being spent on fighting against it, give the economy a large boost with all the possible gains in revenue, and make a positive impact on the environment.

When marijuana is ingested, it is absorbed into the blood stream and the effects can happen very quickly. Marijuana can be eaten or smoked. When it is smoked, the effects are almost instant and as time passes, they grow stronger until eventually fading away. The high will last from a few minutes to even a few hours depending on the strength and quality of the marijuana. When it is eaten, the effects take longer to begin, but the actual high is much stronger and will last a substantial amount of time longer than when smoked. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main component in the cannabis plant, which provides the psychoactive effect given when ingested. When marijuana is smoked, most of the THC is burned away and wasted and only a small percentage remains able to be used. The remaining amount is taken in by our lungs and then distributed into the blood stream and throughout the body. When marijuana is properly cooked down in to an eatable form and ingested, more THC gets in to the system so the high is longer and stronger. Another benefit of ingesting marijuana is that the user avoids potentially harmful chemicals and damage to the lungs caused by smoking it. Marijuana has been proven to have many medical benefits. One of the main effects of marijuana is an increase in appetite. This can be useful for anyone with a disease or condition that inhibits the appetite. When one uses marijuana, one of the first and most noticeable effects is relaxation. When the body and mind are relaxed, there is a decrease in pain and a better over-all sense of well-being. For people that have diseases with chronic pain as a symptom, this can be a huge benefit. In addition, having such a degree of pain causes a high level of stress, which also can be managed by the marijuana. Studies have shown marijuana to help with brain cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Many cancer patients go through chemotherapy. After a chemo treatment, a common side effect is nausea with the inability to eat and severe headaches, both which can be subdued by marijuana. In addition, it has been known to help stop the cancer from spreading in breast cancer. HIV and AIDS patients can benefit from the use of marijuana as well. Typically, one thing they experience is major weight loss due to having no appetite. In, “Marijuana: Its Role in the Medical Arena,” Wason Louie M.D. and Ryan Wippler M.D. state that this, “is useful particularly for HIV infected patients who are at risk for opportunistic infections, enteric infections leading to malabsorption, and decreased caloric intake.” For people with Alzheimer’s disease, marijuana has shown potential to prevent the neurodegenerative process that occurs. People who have Arthritis are generally in pain. They can also have muscle spasms and experience a substantial level of swelling. Marijuana can help these patients because it is both antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. With Glaucoma, patients experience a heavy pressure around the eyes, and when they use marijuana, it is relieved. In regards to neurological and movement disorders Louie and Wippler state, “There are reports that marijuana has antispasmatic, antitremor, and antiataxic activity. In the clinical setting, these properties may have utility in Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, Multiple sclerosis, seizures and in spinal cord injuries.” Patients diagnosed with hepatitis C have symptoms such as fatigue, depression, joint pain, including...
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