We Need To Change The Laws Regarding

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We Need To Change The Laws Regarding Medical Marijuana Essay, Research Paper We Need to Change the Laws Regarding Medical Marijuana Since 1937 marijuana has been illegal in our country for all purposes. From that time many Americans have thought of it as a dangerous drug, and its medicinal value has been disregarded simply because it has been labeled as an illegal substance. Recent studies show that marijuana is indeed safe and has many modern medicinal applications. It is proven to be beneficial in the alleviation of symptoms of AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, and epilepsy only to name a few. I feel that the majority of the public does not know all the facts about the medical use of marijuana. Without substantial public support, marijuana will continue to be prohibited by the

government and many patients will continue to not receive necessary treatment. Perhaps the biggest misconception of marijuana is that it is not safe. On the contrary, marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. No one has ever died from an overdose, and it has a wide variety of therapeutic uses (4). According to Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, marijuana is one of the least toxic substances in the whole pharmacopoeia (3). It is also one of the most tested therapeutic drugs; historical records show that marijuana was a prescribed drug throughout China since the 2700s B.C. (3). To this day, more is known about the therapeutic uses of marijuana than about most prescription drugs. Marijuana has been tested by

millions of people for thousands of years. In all that time, there is not a single reported death caused by consuming marijuana (3). As opposed to the crude methods of smoking the drug, marijuana can be given in the much safer pill form or by an inhaler. This already safe drug can be taken using a pill form or inhaler since it is known that smoking marijuana causes lung damage. The government used to claim that marijuana kills brain cells. Government experts now admit that pot doesn t kill brain cells. This myth came from a handful of animal experiments in which structural changes (not actual cell death, as is often alleged) were observed in brain cells of animals exposed to high doses of pot. Many critics still cite the notorious monkey studies of Dr. Robert G. Heath, which

purported to find brain damage in three monkeys that had been heavily dosed with marijuana. This work was never replicated and has since been discredited by a pair of better controlled, much larger monkey studies, one by Dr. William Slikker of the National Center for Toxicological Research and the other by Charles Rebert and Gordon Pryor of SRI International. (2) Neither found any evidence of physical alteration in the brains of monkeys exposed to daily doses of pot for up to a year. Human studies of heavy users in Jamaica and Costa Rica found no evidence of abnormalities in brain psychology. Even though there is no evidence that pot causes permanent brain damage, users should be aware that persistent deficits in short-term memory have been noted in chronic, heavy marijuana

smokers after six to twelve weeks of abstinence. It is worth noting that other drugs, including alcohol, are known to cause brain damage. A myth is that marijuana leads to harder drugs. There is no scientific evidence for the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug. The pot-using cultures in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America show no tendency for other drugs. The gateway theory took hold in the sixties, when marijuana became the leading new recreational drug. It was refuted by events in the eighties, when cocaine abuse exploded at the time marijuana use declined. There is evidence that marijuana may substitute for alcohol and other hard drugs. A recent survey by Dr. Patricia Morgan of the University of California at Berkeley found that a significant number of pot