Essay on Should Marijuana Be Legalized for Medical Purposes?

2342 WordsSep 28, 199910 Pages
Should Marijuana be Legalized for Medical Purposes? Marijuana has been used extensively as a medical remedy for more than five thousand years. In the early 1900s, medical usage of marijuana began to decline with the advent of alternative drugs. Injectable opiates and synthetic drugs such as aspirin and barbiturates began to replace marijuana as the physician's drug of choice in the twentieth-century, as their results proved to be more consistent than the sometimes erratic effects of the hard-to-dose potencies of marijuana (Grinspoon). The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 made cannabis so expensive to obtain that its usage as a medical remedy in the U.S. came to a halt. Although now illegal in the U.S., marijuana continues to be used…show more content…
The article also fails to address the negative side-effects of marijuana that result from smoking the plant. While there are many physicians who support the reclassification (and, sometimes, legalization) of marijuana, still others make different claims. In July of 1995, one month after "Marijuana as Medicine- A Plea for Reconsideration" was published in JAMA, the Department of Health and Human Services held its first research conference on marijuana. At this conference, several respected physicians noted that "marijuana use during pregnancy has harmful effects on children's intellectual abilities... compulsive marijuana use may lead to an addiction similar to that of other illicit drugs..." (Claim V); and, finally, that "marijuana use can put a serious choke-hold on users who try to quit" (Claim V). Conflicting reports, such as these, are at the center of the smoke filled battle concerning medical legalization. In this case, the physicians assembled at the conference commented only on the drug's negative effects, and they failed to discuss any possible beneficial effects. Although there are physicians both for and against the medical legalization of marijuana, the DEA enforces the laws. The DEA regularly makes publications against legalization. Claim V of these publications is entitled " There are no Compelling Reasons to Prescribe Marijuana or Heroin to Sick people". In this claim, the DEA makes contradictory
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