Why Marijuana Should Be Decriminalized in the U.S.
“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the most therapeutically active substances known to man” (qtd. in Rosenthal and Kubby 49). The DEA’s Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, stated this in the matter of Marijuana Medical Rescheduling Petition, in 1988 when attempting to list marijuana as a Schedule II drug (Keene 93). Marijuana, or “weed,” is made from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant cannabis sativa. In 1937, cannabis was made illegal with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act. Since it was criminalized, billions of dollars have been spent in marijuana –related incarcerations. Marijuana consumption should be decriminalized in the United States for both medical and recreational use because it could prove medically, economically, and socially beneficial for the nation. The first reason marijuana should decriminalized in the United States is for its medicinal value. Marijuana can be used to treat an assortment of diseases and disorders, and also helps in pain relief. Patients suffering from glaucoma, an ocular disease where the eye is subject to increased pressure that damages the optic nerve, eventually leading to blindness, can be treated with marijuana to help reduce the pressure on the eye (Keene 92). For individuals suffering from epilepsy, a brain disorder in which an individual may has repeated seizures over time, marijuana can potentially prevent seizures at a very affordable price (Rosenthal and Kubby 50). Marijuana also helps relieve the side effects of chemotherapy, which include loss of appetite and nausea (Keene 91). Finally, marijuana helps individuals suffering from chronic pain caused by diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and cancer (Rosenthal and Kubby 50). Although, it appears that marijuana should be available at every pharmacy, behind every counter, after reading about its medicinal properties, it is not. The...