The Magical Herbs Of Life Essay Research — страница 2

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also severe. Under federal law possessing one marijuana cigarette or less is punishable by a fine of up to $10 000 and one year in prison, the is the same penalty for possessing small amounts of heroin and cocaine. Marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers at least $7.5 billion annually. This is an enormous waste of federal money that should be used to target violent crimes. Annual Federal Expenditures on the ?war on drugs? average $15.7 billion annually. Also, state and local governments also spend 16 billion per year enforcing drugs laws. In 1995, nearly 600 000 of the total 1.5 million drug arrests in Canada were marijuana offences. 25 to 40 percent of the total $31 billion annual costs are related to marijuana prohibition. Marijuana prohibition applies to everyone, including the

sick and dying. Of all the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medical marijuana. It is clear from available studies and rapidly accumulating anecdotal evidence that marijuana is therapeutic in the treatment of a number of serious illnesses and is less toxic and costly than the other medicines, which are use in its place. In many cases marijuana is much more effective than other available commercial drugs. Prestigious groups such as the American Public Health Association, the Federation of American Scientists, The British Medical Association, and the New England Journal of Medicine editor Jerome Kassirer, publicly endorse the medicinal use of marijuana. In 1988, the Drug Enforcement Administrations own chief administrative law judge,

Francis L. Young, declared that marijuana was ?one of the safest therapeutic active substances known to man?. In 1991 Dr. J. B. Mattison, indicated the benefits of smoking marijuana in the treatment of migraines, gastric ulcers, delirium and tremors due to alcoholism. He found the same effect carried over in treating other serious addictions such as morphine or heroin addictions. In 1990 Dr. J. R. Reynolds found marijuana to be an excellent aid in combating a number of problems associated with aging. He sated, ? I have found nothing comparable in utility to a moderate dose of marijuana?. Dr. Reynolds noted marijuana?s usefulness in overcoming senile insomnia as well as it?s psychological benefits in helping older people cope with some of the feelings and emotions associated with

growing older. The tens of thousands of seriously ill presently use marijuana as a therapeutic agent to help them with there symptoms of cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, Epilepsy, spinal injuries, Anorexia, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, Chronic pain, or multiple sclerosis risk arrest and jail to obtain and use their medication. Many AIDS and cancer patients use marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering. Often, because of there illness, it requires that the person taking care of them obtain the marijuana for them. Many of the caregivers could serve a mandatory prison sentence if convicted under existing marijuana laws. Marijuana alleviates the nausea, vomiting, and the loss of appetite experienced by many AIDS patients without accelerating the rate at which HIV positive individuals develop

clinical AIDS or other illnesses. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and others concluded that marijuana reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients suffering from glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in Canada. It is time to end marijuana prohibition and to stop arresting law-abiding marijuana smokers. The ?war on drugs? is not really about drugs; if it were, tobacco and alcohol would be the primary targets. They are the most commonly used and abused drugs in Canada and unquestionably cause for more harm on the user and society than does marijuana. Yet neither is illegal. Prohibition of marijuana puts innocent people in jail, brings forth a great cost to our society in regards to money, and most importantly puts the sick in needless physical and emotional pain that

can easily be avoided. Marijuana remains the third most popular drug of choice in the United States despite 60 years of criminal prohibition. Only alcohol and tobacco are regularly consumed by a greater percentage of the population. Responsible marijuana smokers present no threat or danger to society, and there is no reason to treat them as criminals. Twenty years later the former U.S president’s words ring as loud as ever, ?After 60 years of failed destructive policy, it is time to once and for all end marijuana prohibition.? 33a