The Pros and Cons on the legalization of Marijuana for Medical use Thermon V. Ratliff Jr
April 13, 2011
Thesis: The debate over the legalization of marijuana may not be decided in my lifetime, but the sub topic of legalizing marijuana for medical use should not be held back by political agendas, unethical laws, and a misinformed social conscience. By examining both the pros and cons on this subject, I hope to provide balanced information that will aid other in making an informed opinion about the legalization of marijuana for medical use.
The following information was researched and compiled as a team project by Jan Roberts, Rusty Wheeler, Skylar Bennett, and myself. I personally think that our government along with federal agencies such as the DEA and the FDA impose on our rights as citizens when it comes to personal drug use. It seems to me that any natural growing substance that helps relieve symptoms for chronically ill people should not only be legal but endorsed by the government. But both sides of this argument have very different views on what is right and wrong. Here are some of the causes of this situation. 1. Ignorance on the part of the general population.
2. Ignorance of the governmental entities and policy makers. 3. Closed mindedness and a strict conservative attitude among the general population and the lawmakers. 4. The lack of education and research on marijuana as a possible medical drug.
Most lawmakers can’t get past seeing marijuana as an illegal drug. There is even the inability of some of the more conservative people to recognize the possibility of legalization of marijuana for medical use without the stigma of addiction. How many people are addicted to the legal prescription painkillers?
It is believed that China was using marijuana seeds for food as early as 6000 BC. In the more recent past, marijuana was being used by many addicts to curb their cravings for drugs when the United States made morphine and opium illegal. Marijuana was actually legal in the United States until a small group of people banded together and changed the laws to make it illegal by enacting The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. This was accomplished by blatantly misrepresenting the American Medical Association’s agreement with that act. Since 1996 many states have joined California in that push to make marijuana legal for medicinal use and to decriminalize and legalize it for regulatory purposes. Perhaps the FDA is partially to blame for not allowing individuals to make an educated decision on the legalization of a drug that has been found to be beneficial to some crippling and terminal diseases that are refractory to current available drug therapies.(Could,2002)
The major stakeholders in this argument are the terminally ill patients that might benefit from the relief that marijuana could provide them for their pain and nausea of a few particular diseases. Some other stakeholders are the people who aren’t really ill but are holding the medical marijuana card in order to use the drug without repercussions. If decriminalized and legalized, the growers that are being paid by the states to grow marijuana for the medical research testing could be affected. It might even affect the illegal drug trafficking if it is legal in the United States. It would impact those traffickers by taking an illegal street drug, and making it legal, taxable and regulated. The federal government could also be a major stakeholder by being able to tax marijuana if it was grown, sold and dispensed legally. (Could, 2002)
Public opinions have been formed by an uneducated fear of most controlled substances that the government, not medical professionals and researchers, have deemed to be dangerous. Many people around the world still vary on their opinions about the legalization of marijuana. The opinions of the terminally ill, legislators, general public, medical society, DEA, politicians,...
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