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Marijuana is obtained from various parts of the hemp plant-cannabis sativa which include the flowers, the stem and the leaves. In many countries, marijuana is viewed as a very dangerous drug and has therefore been declared illegal. However, illegalization of the drug does not deter people from using (abusing) it. In fact; it is the fourth most commonly used drug in the world after caffeine, cigar, and alcohol. Those who use the drugs have given it names like weed, pot, reefer among other names. The drug has been used as a way of getting euphoria since ancient times. The use of the drug is thought to have started in china at around 2737 B.C before spreading to India, north Africa and then to the rest of the world. From 1850 to 1942, American physicians used to prescribe the drug for conditions like labor pains, nausea and rheumatism. However, in 1930s various ant-narcotics organizations including the U.S. Federal bureau of narcotics started campaigning for its illegalization arguing that its use led to narcotics addiction. This led to its eventual illegalization. Despite the fact that it is illegal in many countries, many people continue to abuse the drug. Of late there have been many debates with some organizations arguing for its legalization while others continue to maintain that it should not be legalized (procon.org). Should the drug be legalized?

Research has shown that hemp plant which produces marijuana contains a chemical known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).According to research, THC, reduces suffering  for cancer and AIDs patients in that it increases appetite and reduces nausea. It is also used by glaucoma patients by decreasing pressure within the eye. Multiple sclerosis patients can also use it to reduce neuropathic pain as well as spacity. Research studies have also shown that THC may help to decrease nervous tics and urges by significant levels in patients with Tourette disorder. With all this evidence on its medical use, marijuana ought to be legalized in order to alleviate pain and suffering undergone by the various patients mentioned (The Columbia Encyclopedia)

It is true that marijuana exposes its users to fewer health risks than legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol. Health risks from marijuana have been overstated. Research has shown that that many drugs if taken in large quantities (overdose) are likely to lead to death even though they are legal drugs. On the other hand, marijuana has never caused any fatal overdose. The legal drugs continue to kill many people and yet nobody calls for their prohibition. The table below shows how various drugs have caused deaths in comparison with marijuana. From the table we can conclude that the legal drugs used for medication are more fatal than marijuana. Therefore, the drug ought to be legalized especially for medical use. This will minimize the number of deaths caused by the so called legal drugs (medicalmarijuana.procon.org).


DRUG CLASSIFICATION

Specific
Drugs per
Category

Primary
Suspect of the Death

Secondary
Suspect (contributing to death)

Total Deaths Reported
1/1/97 - 6/30/05

A. MARIJUANA
also known as: Cannabis sativa L

Marijuana
Cannabis
Cannabinoids

0

279

279

B. ANTI-EMETICS
(used to treat vomiting)

Compazine
Reglan
Marinol
Zofran
Anzemet
Kytril
Tigan

196

429

625

C. ANTI-SPASMODICS
(used to treat muscle spasms)

Baclofen
Zanaflex

118

56

174

D. ANTI-PSYCHOTICS
(used to treat psychosis)

Haldol
Lithium
Neurontin

1,593

702

2,295

E. OTHER POPULAR DRUGS
(used to treat various conditions including ADD, depression, narcolepsy, erectile dysfunction, and pain)

Ritalin
Wellbutrin
Adderall
Viagra
Vioxx

8,101

492

8,593


F. TOTALS of A-E

Number
of Drugs
in Total

Primary
Suspect of the Death

Secondary
Suspect (contributing to death)

Total Deaths Reported
1/1/97 - 6/30/05

  • TOTAL DEATHS FROM MARIJUANA

1

0

279

279

  • TOTAL DEATHS FROM 17 FDA-APPROVED DRUGS

17

10,008

1,679

11,687

The dangers caused by the use of marijuana are made worse by the fact that it is an illegal drug. The drug is taken in its raw form. Since the drug is illegal, it cannot be processed in order to remove its harmful aspects. Furthermore, its illegalization makes it impossible for the government to enforce quality measures on the drugs products which are manufactured and sold illegally. If the drug was legalized, this would allow for its processing hence ensuring users of quality. Furthermore the manufacturers of the drug would be able to come up with the right prescriptions of the drug .all these efforts would minimize the health dangers posed by the drug’s usage. Therefore, there would be fewer incidences of people being addicted by the drug or getting complications owing to its use. As stated earlier, marijuana has a lot of medicinal value. However, its criminalization prevents the government and various pharmaceutical industries to undertake extensive research regarding to its use for medicinal value. Research regarding to the use of the drug would result into more effective and safer marijuana medicine. The research would also lead to better recreational marijuana because new drug with the desired effects fo9und in the current marijuana would be created. The marijuana would have fewer health effects (Swlearning.com).

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