Legalizing Weed Essay

3488 words - 14 pages

Legalizing Weed

“People can't live without the herb man, / If not they'd be drinkin’ and drivin’ and

swervin’ / But thanks to Dr. Greenthumb, weed grow / In the backyard or inside with

hydro,” chants B-Real of Cypress Hill in their hit song, “Dr. Greenthumb,” which

glorifies the cultivation of marijuana. Cypress Hill, a Los Angeles based rap group, has

long championed the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana, which has

recently become a pressing issue in this day of alternative medicine, civil liberties, and

humane treatment for the terminally ill. As an increasing number of states pass laws

allowing medical marijuana and authoritative studies legitimizing both recreational and

medicinal use of marijuana continue to appear the arguments against it begin to break

down. When one considers the medical benefits, both recently discovered and

traditionally practiced, along with the high costs of prohibition, the legalization of

marijuana shows itself to be a possible solution. Marijuana should be legalized in the

United States for medical and responsible recreational use in order to cut the immense

expenditure spent on its prohibition and allows its medicinal benefits to be available to

those who need them.

Medicinal marijuana is very beneficial to those suffering from terminal illnesses

and those requiring therapeutic measures. Recent research done by the National Institute

of Mental Health has found that compounds in marijuana are strong antioxidants, which

would help to protect the brain cells during a stroke. In fact, the compounds outperformed

vitamins C and E, conventional antioxidants (Armentano). Marijuana has been found to

have a therapeutic effect for victims of multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, epilepsy, and

quadriplegia (Peters Interview, Thompson Interview, Armentano). Through a series of

animal and human studies, researchers have determined that marijuana does have to

ability to suppress convulsions. A recent National Academy of Sciences report,

commissioned by the federal government, found that marijuana is effective in treating

AIDS wasting syndrome and chemotherapy patients whom have been unresponsive to other

medications. Even though it is illegal, many oncologists are prescribing cannabis to these

patients (Armentano). Marijuana may also provide a more reasonable alternative to

euthanasia for terminally ill patients (Thompson Interview). Marijuana may be

successfully substituted for many conventional medicines while remaining less toxic and

significantly cheaper. Georgia quadriplegic, Louis Covar, claims that he smokes

marijuana to provide relief from painful muscle spasms, as the doctor-prescribed

narcotics make him drowsy and make it hard for him to communicate. Covar was

paralyzed from the neck down as a result of a July 4, 1967 driving accident (Hodson). It

is ridiculous to deny the...

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