Logical Reasoning For the Legalization Marijuana

Last year there were more than 695,201 marijuana arrests in the United States. Of those
arrests 87.2% were for possession - not for sale or manufacture of marijuana. There have been
over 11 million marijuana arrests in the United States since 1965. 12.7% of today’s overcrowded
federal prison population is made up of people incarcerated for marijuana offenses, with an
average sentence of 3.25 years.(1)
Even with heroin use on the rise, the police seem to be preoccupied with arresting marijuana
smokers. In 1990 there were over 34,000 emergency room admissions resulting from the use of
heroin and 4 years later, that number had doubled. Many of those patients did not survive. Yet
even though heroin has done much more damage to this society than marijuana has, statistics say
the chances of a heroin dealer being arrested are 1 in 10,900 “deals.”(2)
Is marijuana really a harmful drug? The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
asked the United States Institute of Medicine to conduct a research to assess the possible health
benefits of marijuana. In March of 1999 the review was made public. The evidence concluded
that the THC in marijuana is effective treatment for symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting,
anorexia, and “wasting”, which is the resulting characteristics associated with cancer and AIDS
treatments.(3) Recently it has also has been proven that marijuana reduces muscle pain and
spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, prevents epileptic seizures, helps bladder control, and
reduces eye pressure and blood flow to the optic nerve in Glaucoma patients.(4) This conclusive
evidence brings up the question why not legalize marijuana as medical drug treatment. Marijuana
has been proven to be less dangerous than cocaine and morphine, two legalized drug treatments
which have been proven to be addictive. According to the Institute of Medicine, there is no
evidence that marijuana use can lead to either addiction or to harder drug use.(6)
The first recorded use of marijuana as medicine was in China in 2727 BC. Marijuana was legal
in the United States until 1937. The use of marijuana as medicine was rediscovered in the 70’s as
many people used the drug for recreational purposes. Now people who suffer from a variety of
diseases are begging for legal use of this drug.(5)
Irvin Rosenfeld is a stockbroker who has smoked marijuana, supplied to him by the Federal
Government, for 27 years. He has a rare disease which causes tumors to press into his muscles.
The marijuana relaxes his muscles and keeps them from being torn. It also allows him to move
with less pain. Rosenfeld says, “When you have a devastating disease, all you care about is
getting the right medicine... and not having to worry about being made a criminal.”(6)
Many people feel that legalizing marijuana would increase the amount of use, yet throughout
the past decades the demand of the drug has not diminished and it is highly unlikely that the
demand will lessen in the future. Marijuana is basically going through the stages in which alcohol
had during prohibition. Legal or not, people will still continue to smoke this drug.
Legalization of marijuana is an option that deserves a chance. It would benefit the United
State’s financially because the country’s revenue would increase on marijuana taxes. Also, there
would not be as much money wasted on apprehending and prosecuting marijuana users. It would
also give law enforcers a better opportunity to focus on the real war on drugs. Instead of
incarcerating harmless marijuana smokers, they would concentrate on getting heroin, crack, and
crystal meth off the streets. At the same time it would lead to at least a 5% decrease in the
homicide rate in the United States.(2)
In view of the new millennium approaching, there is a possibility that marijuana will become
legal. It may never be legal to the general public, but the probability of marijuana becoming a
legal medical treatment is high. The New England Journal of Medicine has declared publicly in
favor of marijuana and the Medical Association has pleaded for the National Institutes of Health
to conduct more research on the subject. The White House National Drug Control Policy said it
is studying the development of a marijuana substitute, a cannabinoid inhaler, since inhaling the
marijuana smoke can cause respiratory diseases. In my opinion marijuana is less harmful than
alcohol and any other drugs. If alcohol was able to be legalized during the prohibition era, then
marijuana should be given the chance