Marijuna: Should It Be Legalized and Is It Harmful

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General Purpose: Speech to Persuade
Specific Purpose: To get my audience to be pro on legalizing marijuana Thesis Statement: Marijuana isn't harmful and should be legalized Organizational Pattern: Cause and Effect

To the AIDS or cancer patient, marijuana is the plant that fights nausea and appetite loss. To the nutritionist, its seed is second only to the soybean in nutritional value and is a source of cooking oil and vitamins. To the paper or cloth manufacturer, it is the plant that provided much of our paper and clothing for hundreds of years and produces four times more fiber per acre than trees. To the environmentalist, it is the plant that could greatly slow deforestation, restore robbed nutrients by other crops, and help prevent erosion. Preliminary findings show the drug may prove effective against glaucoma and asthma, and control such side nausea in cancer treatment. I concretely believe that marijuana should be legalized in the United States, primarily for the use of medicinal purposes. In technical or for the average American, marijuana, it is used only for recreational purposes. I think marijuana is a plant that could save many lives if it was made legal. My goal is to reverse prejudices, relieve ignorance, and inform people of the known and potential therapeutic uses of this remarkable plant. As of today the nation stands behind three basic ideas of what to do with marijuana; legalize marijuana, make it legal only as a prescription drug, or keep it as it is, illegal. People, who are pro-marijuana like me, argue that marijuana is considerably less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, the most frequently used legal drugs. Furthermore marijuana has never directly caused anyone's death. People who side with the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes believe that the ends justify the means. But the people who want to keep it illegal think that the medical uses do not outweigh the harmful side effects. Before deciding whether marijuana should be legal or illegal, one needs to know some basic facts. Lester Grinspoon, M.D. and James B. Bakalar note "most botanists agree that there are three species of marijuana; Cannabis sativa, the most widespread of the three, is tall, gangly, and loosely branched, growing as high as twenty feet; Cannabis indica is shorter, about three or four feet in height, pyramidal in shape and densely branched; Cannabis ruderalis is about two feet high with few or no branches". They also say "Cannabis has become one of the most widespread and diversified of plants. It grows as weed and cultivated plant all over the world in a variety of climates and soils". Marijuana was first cultivated in China around 4000 B.C. It was mainly used as a sedative and analgesic, but today it is commonly used for the "high" or the euphoric feeling it causes. The most active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinal commonly referred to as THC, which wasn't discovered until the 1960s. Marijuana is illegal today because of the Marijuana Stamp Tax Act passed in 1937. This act prohibited the use, sale, and growing of marijuana. It was made illegal because no one understood why smoking marijuana made people feel the way they did, and because it was associated with Indians and other so called "immoral people." Today marijuana is illegal because research has shown some intoxicating effects. Such as hallucination, anxiety, depression, extreme variability of mood, paranoia and schizophrenia lasting up to six hours. Although cannabis causes initial restlessness, excitement, and sometimes boisterous, impulsive behavior, pacing and dancing, the main picture is of reduced physical activity apart from speech. Physical effects include reddening of the eyes, dryness of the mouth and throat, a moderate increase in heart rate, tightness in the chest, drowsiness, unsteadiness, and uncoordinated muscular contractions. Marijuana buffers the central nervous...
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