Legalize It – Marijuana Essay

Marijuana is a drug once viewed by the populous at large as “refer madness”, A March, 1936 Scientific American news item Marijuana Menaces Youth , stated: “Marijuana produces a wide variety of symptoms in the user including hilarity, swooning, and sexual excitement, combined with intoxicant, it often makes the smoker vicious, with a desire to fight and kill.” There has been extensive research disproving this misleading notion, marijuana is currently a very recognizable accepted recreational drug considered among several age groups as fairly harmless. Those who oppose the legalization of it use fear that its abuse may become a more widespread issue. This viewpoint is obviously that of the legislators who dictate its illegality. However, many recent studies suggest the possibilities of marijuana’s medicinal properties as well as demonstrate a rebuttal to many previous misconceptions attached to its recreational use. These discoveries bring to the table the argument of whether or not this drug should be made legal.

Up until Monday June 4th 2005, the states of Vermont, California, Maine, Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington state had approved and past the legalization of the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Conversely, the Supreme Court decision made on this date has made it so that the people who are prescribed marijuana can now be prosecuted by federal authorities. Two terminally ill patients in the state of California were arrested after not too long after this ruling. Mrs. Raich, who has brain cancer, and Mrs. Monsoon, who grew marijuana in her yard to alleviate chronic back pain, sued the government in federal court after raids a year earlier by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The two women were among those arrested, claimed they were protected by passage of California’s proposition 215. These women along with many other gravely sick individuals are victims of an absurd government ruling that undercuts its states liberties. To upkeep this new regulation is going to be an unnecessary waste of time more directly its taxpayers’ time as well as funding.

It is clear from available studies that marijuana succeeds where other prescription drugs fail in the treatment of a number of serious ailments such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain of any and other conditions as well. There are synthetic alternatives available to marijuana; namely Dronobinol and Naboline, these two drugs have been reported to have numerous adverse effects. This is due to the fact that unlike actual marijuana, the patient cannot regulate the dosage as easily. It is also ineffective because the synthetics available are indiscriminate when it comes to the receptors in the brain that they bind. In other words, marijuana goes certain places while synthetics go anywhere. Of all the negative consequences of prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medical marijuana to the tens of thousands of seriously ill patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use. Marijuana in comparison to other conventional medicines for which it may be substituted, is less toxic and costly. Furthermore taking this information into consideration as a logical reason to legalize would ensure that people like Raich and Monsoon would not be crowding our prisons.

Still yet, other studies conclude that the brain produces its very own version of marijuana with similar effects. In the human brain there is a specific receptor for marijuana that has come to be called the cannabinoid (CB1) receptor. A receptor is a protein in the brain to chemicals bind to produce effects. When the receptor for marijuana was discovered in 1988 in was named the cannabinoid receptor and many continuous studies were done on what the functions of the CB1 receptor in our brain was for. They found out about the presence of a fatty acid called anamide that is naturally produced and attaches to the CB1 receptor paralleling the effect of marijuana on the brain. Later scientist came across yet another lipid that binds to the CB1 receptor called 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). As studies continued, the question of why our bodies naturally have a receptor for a chemical that comes from a plant was raised. It has been concluded that the molecule for marijuana, Delta-9-tetrahydocannibinol (THC) is similar enough to the ones that we produce naturally that its effects are the same. Research was then done on rodents brains with a less than normal supply of the CB1 receptor and then on one with a sufficient supply on the fear of shock related sound. Scientists investigating the basis of anxiety commonly began by training rodents to associate a particular signal with something that frighten them. They administer a brief mild shock to the feet at the same time they generate a sound. After a while the animal will freeze in anticipation of the shock if it hears the sound. If the sound is repeatedly played without the shock the animal stops being afraid when it hears the sound that is it unlearns the fear. Researchers came to the conclusion that CB1 played a huge role in how readily the rats unlearned their fear once the sound was administered with out the shock. This information could prove that absence of this receptor maybe responsible for order such as post traumatic stress, and other anxiety related disorders.

A common concern of government officials is how its legalization can lead to abuse and large amount of the population will suffer from its long term effects. Marijuana definitely can be abused, but in a country with a government that has legal alcohol and tobacco opposition to marijuana is a bit of a contradiction. These two legal drugs combine lead to millions of deaths per day in America .To be exact with the numbers Over 100,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are alcohol related, about 15,000 due to driving accidents. Marijuana deaths average to zero in a long record. Marijuana is to a large extent less addictive than alcohol and, if addiction is to occur, dependency is generally easy to treat and mild by contrast. Alcohol is by for the more dangerous of the two drugs and it is the prohibition of marijuana while alcohol is available to the population at large is a bit backwards on the part of our government administration. Also if marijuana was legalized the government could put a sin tax on it like they do with cigarettes and alcohol and its traffic in and out of the country would be a lot easier to monitor. It is clear that legalizing it would be not only good for people suffering from terminal illness but it would also empty out our jails leaving room for more serious criminal offenders, and save money for both the government and for taxpayers.