Should marijuana be legalized?
If marijuana were legalized, it could be taxed - and regulated. We could use the tax money for marijuana to pay back our countries 6 trillion dollar debt (which is rapidly growing by the second).
People may argue that marijuana is bad for you and if legalized would be more available. First of all, alcohol is much much worse for you than marijuana. Alcohol is legal. You don't see dangerous alcohol dealers, or a drug war on alcohol? Why? Because it is regulated and controlled - so we don't need illegal dealers when we can just go to the store and buy it. Also, ask any kid. Getting marijuana is a hell of a lot easier than getting alcohol, because marijuana is unregulated and uncontrolled.
When you send a drug dealer to prison, you are not helping the cause or eliminating the problem. You are just creating an opening for another person to take their place. Drug dealers also bring in kids to sell drugs for them-which usually consists of a lot of violence, gangs, etc. By regulating and legalizing marijuana you are eliminating drug dealers and middle men and putting an end to all this drug related violence.
Legalizing marijuana is not condoning it. If cocaine was legalized tomorrow, would you jump up and start doing cocaine tomorrow? No, you wouldn't. And neither would all the people who don't do cocaine now. You are just eliminating the violence, deaths, etc that come with illegal drugs and the war on drugs.
Our government is contradicting itself. Marijuana is legal on a state level (in some states), but completely illegal on a federal level. That means that an established dispensary could be completely legal and allowed, until one day the feds come in and completely shut it down - leaving the owners jobless and imprisoned for doing nothing wrong, and all the patients who were medicating with nothing. The government is literally going against it's own rules and sending thousands of innocent people to jail for doing nothing but smoking marijuana. Shouldn't we start focusing on the real criminals, like murderers and rapists?
"Marijuana is a gate-way drug". No. That is like saying "Having sex is a gateway to becoming a porn star." The argument is indirect and a pathetic excuse as an opposing argument. It is an invalid generalization.
Hemp is even illegal. We can use hemp to make paper, milk, you name it. It doesn't even get you high. Yet it is illegal. WHY.
Here are 10 of the most notable, common conditions, afflictions and diseases that marijuana has been proven to help.
1. Alzheimer's disease - In 2006, the Scripps Research Institute in Californiadiscovered that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, can prevent an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase from accelerating the formation of "Alzheimer's plaques" in the brain, as well as protein clumps that can inhibit cognition and memory, more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.
2. Epilepsy - A study performed by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University discovered that ingredients found in natural marijuana "play a critical role in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy." Dr. Robert J. DeLorenzo, professor of neurology at the VCU School of Medicine, added that "Although marijuana is illegal in the United States, individuals both here and abroad report that marijuana has been therapeutic for them in the treatment of a variety of ailments, including epilepsy."
3. Multiple sclerosis - It's long been believed that smoking pot helps MS patients, and a study published as recently as May provided yet another clinical trial as evidence of marijuana's impact on multiple sclerosis patients with muscle spasticity. Even though the drug has been known to cause dizziness and fatigue in some users, most MS patients report marijuana not only helps ease the pain in their arms and legs when they painfully contract, but also helps them just "feel good." How many prescription drugs can say their side effects include "happiness"?
4. Glaucoma - Since the 1970s, studies have called medical marijuana an effective treatment against glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Researchers say marijuana helps reduce and relieve the intraocular pressure that causes optic nerve damage, but the proponents say it helps "reverse deterioration," too.
5. Arthritis - Marijuana proves useful for many types of chronic pain conditions, but patients with rheumatoid arthritis report less pain, reduced inflammation and more sleep. However, this is not to say that arthritis patients should exchange their medication with pot; marijuana eases the pain, but it does nothing to ameliorate or curb the disease.
6. Depression - A study on addictive behaviors published by USC and SUNY Albany in 2005, whose 4,400 participants made it the largest investigation of marijuana and depression to date, found that "those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana." The study added that "weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users."
7. Anxiety - An article published in the April 2010 edition of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, "Medical marijuana and the mind," said that while "many recreational users say that smoking marijuana calms them down, for others it has the opposite effect. ... Studies report that about 20 to 30 percent of recreational users experience such problems after smoking marijuana." The article did not mention which "studies" supported this fact, and most marijuana users would call this claim totally erroneous. Here's a story from Patsy Eagan of Elle Magazine, who describes how she prefers marijuana to treat her anxiety over prescription drugs.
8. Hepatitis C - A 2006 study performed by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that marijuana helps improve the effectiveness of drug therapy for hepatitis C, an infection that roughly 3 million Americans contract each year. Hepatitis C medications often have severe side effects like loss of appetite, depression, nausea, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Patients that smoked marijuana every day or two found that not only did they complete the therapy, but that the marijuana even made it more effective in achieving a "sustained virological response," which is the gold standard in therapy, meaning there was no sign of the virus left in their bodies.
9. Morning sickness - In a peer-reviewed study, researchers at the British Columbia Compassion Club Society found that 92 percent of women found marijuana's effect on morning sickness symptoms as either "very effective" or effective." Read the first-hand account from Dr. Wei-Ni Lin Curry, whodescribes how medical marijuana saved her from a potentially life-threatening situation:
"Within two weeks of my daughter's conception, I became desperately nauseated and vomited throughout the day and night. ... I vomited bile of every shade, and soon began retching up blood. ... I felt so helpless and distraught that I went to the abortion clinic twice, but both times I left without going through the with procedure. ... Finally I decide to try medical cannabis. ... Just one to two little puffs at night, and if I needed in the morning, resulted in an entire day of wellness. I went from not eating, not drinking, not functioning, and continually vomiting and bleeding from two orifices to being completely cured. ... Not only did the cannabis save my [life] during the duration of my hyperemesis, it saved the life of the child within my womb."
Most prospective mothers will worry about the effect of ingesting marijuana in any form on their baby's development. The only study that showed any effect from smoking pot came from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine in 2008, which showed that heavy smoking "during the first trimester was associated with lower verbal reasoning," while "heavy use during the second trimester predicted deficits in the composite, short-term memory, and quantitative scores." Though this singular study may be enough to scare away some mothers, the majority of studies say prenatal pot exposure "is not a major prognostic factor regarding the outcome of pregnancy," and that "marijuana has no reliable impact on birth size, length of gestation ... or the occurrence of physical abnormalities." Compared to mothers that used tobacco and alcohol, all of whom showed "increased risk of suspect or definite psychotic symptoms (in offspring)," mothers' cannabis use "was not associated with psychotic symptoms" in their children.
10. Cancer, HIV/AIDS and chemotherapy - Though the drug is illegal in the U.S., the FDA and American Cancer Society agree that the active ingredients in marijuana, or cannabinoids, have been approved by officials to "relieve nausea and vomiting and increase appetite in people with cancer and AIDS." The American Cancer Society says that "marijuana has anti-bacterial properties, inhibits tumor growth, and enlarges the airways, which they believe can ease the severity of asthma attacks."
with inputs from; Hanna.