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Legalize Marijuana

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Marijuana Illegal?

Cannabis... or marijuana is a resinous psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa. The major biologically active chemical compounds in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC. It has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed, usually by smoking or ingestion. Should marijuana be legal in the United States? If you're asking yourself this question the answer to this is yes! There is no worthy reason for it not to be a legal substance. Some politicians ask "why should marijuana be legalized?" but we should ask "Why should marijuana be illegal?"

From a moral and unjust point of view, individuals deserve the right and liberty to make decisions for themselves, in the society we live in. The government only has a right to step in and limit those choices if the individual's actions cause danger to or jeopardize someone else. These limitations do not apply to marijuana, because the individual who makes the choice to use marijuana does so according to his or her own free will. Now the government may have a right to limit these actions pertaining to marijuana if they cause significant damage to the user or people around the user. The fact is that marijuana does not pose this kind of threat and such things that are legal in the U.S. such as tobacco and alcohol do pose such threats.

Another reason for the legalization of marijuana is the positive effects it has in the medical field. Though there are negative reports out there about the harmful effects of marijuana there is evidence to support its positive benefits to medicine. The American Marijuana Policy Project states that "cannabis is an ideal therapeutic drug for cancer and AIDS patients," these patients often suffer from clinical depression symptoms, nausea and sometimes result in weight loss due to chemotherapy and other assertive treatments. Some even claim that marijuana makes these other treatments more bearable. The nausea suppression and mild palliative effects of marijuana also supply a certain extent of relief for people suffering from motion sickness, and it can also be used by hyperhidrosis patients who suffer from excessive sweating symptoms. A recent study by scientists has also revealed that cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical found in marijuana, seriously inhibits and slows the growth of cancer cells. It is even widely known that some physicians recommend the use of marijuana despite the risk of federal prosecution. A synthetic version of the major active compound in cannabis, THC, is available in pill capsule form as the prescription drug "Dronabinol" in various countries around the world. The prescription drug "Sativex", an extract of cannabis is now being administered as a nasal spray. Sativex has been approved by officials in Canada for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In addition this medication may now be legally imported into the United Kingdom and Spain for use by patients. On an interesting note it is astonishing that the U.S. government lists Cannabis as a schedule 1 drug which is the worst, and lists Sativex, the nasal spray as a schedule 3 drug, despite the fact they have the same active ingredient THC. Unlike tobacco, cannabis has not been shown to directly cause emphysema, lung cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Other studies have concluded that marijuana use by mothers carrying babies does not appear to cause birth defects or developmental delays in their newborn children. According to a United Kingdom government report, "using cannabis is less dangerous than both tobacco and alcohol in social harms, physical harm and addiction."

Aside from the medical benefits the cost the government spends on prosecuting users of marijuana and imprisoning them is astonishing. Each year the national, state and local government spends countless amounts of money on the "War on Drugs" which really turns into a war on marijuana. Studies have shown that many people imprisoned or in trouble for marijuana have no previous criminal record or activity. The money spent to imprison, watch and sometimes harass marijuana users could be used in other aspects of the law to protect the people.

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