Dr. Tracy Tennenhouse
ENG M01AH – English Composition
18 October 2012
The Medical Marijuana Controversy
Ever noticed the increasing prevalence of green crosses outside the shops on the Venice boardwalk or the streets of Los Angeles? These green crosses represent a growing number of marijuana activists who support the drug’s legalization for medical purposes. California state law currently permits marijuana to be regulated as a Schedule II drug, allowing it to be distributed for medicinal purposes with imposing regulations; however, with marijuana dispensaries beginning to overrun the streets of Los Angeles and lax regulations being enforced, one thing is clear: the drug is not a controlled substance anymore. In the past few decades, marijuana use has become the most widely used illicit recreational drug. The public has since begun to perceive it as harmless and even healing. Many proponents of legalization continue to purport claims that marijuana is a safe and “natural substance that improves quality of life,” (“Blurred Boundaries” 172) helping to relieve pain, nausea, and other symptoms caused by AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and glaucoma. The ongoing debate over legalization between the federal and state government rests on whether or not marijuana actually contains valid medical properties. While advocates for legalization contend that marijuana would succeed in boosting the economy and curing symptoms for certain types of illnesses, its regulation as a Schedule II drug ultimately undermines marijuana’s other physical and mental health risks, thus making it far too susceptible for substance abuse. Many argue that legalization will help the economy grow if medical marijuana is taxed, but at what cost? In reality, legalization poses the risk of making the drug more available to the public and encourages illegal trafficking. On April 20, 2010, CNBC reporter, Dr. Robert DuPont’s news special, “Why We Should Not Legalize...