Marijuana Should be Legalized:: 8 Works Cited
Length: 1194 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
One of marijuanas biggest pros is the benefits you get from it medically, ranging from kids to adults. Medical marijuana can help many illnesses some examples are cancer, severe seizures, depression, stress, and anxiety. One example of medical marijuana working on kids is Charlotte Figi. A young girl who started getting seizures at just three months old. The seizures kept continuing and getting worse, the medication were also affecting her. She was taking seven drugs, some extreme and others addictive. Then at the age of two her health started depleting quickly, she was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome (SMEI) is an extremely rare disease that causes intractable epilepsy that begins at infantry. Then the parents Matt and Paige Figi, desperate to help their daughter brought her to a dravet specialist in Chicago. The specialist put Charlotte on a ketogenic diet that although helping the seizures it had many side effects, bone loss and depleting immune system for example. After two years of the diet the seizures renewed. The father came across a online video of a young boy suffering from dravet syndrome, and he was being successfully treated with cannabis. The strain of cannabis the boy was using had minimal tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Cannabidiol (CBD) was high in this strain, it possesses all the medical properties and no psychoactivity. By the time the father saw this video, Charlotte is unable to eat, talk, and walk. She suffered from around 300 grand mal seizures a week. When the Figis realized the hospitals couldn’t help her anymore Charlotte was already five. That’s when the Figis turned to medical marijuana.
After a long search of finding a doctor to sign off on a medical marijuana card She went to a dispensary and bought a strain called R4, which is low in THC and high in CBD. They had a family friend extract the oil, which was then tested at a lab and they started treating Charlotte with medical marijuana in small doses. The outcomes were life changing. "When she didn't have those three, four seizures that first hour, that was the first sign," Paige said. "And I thought well, 'Let's go another hour, this has got to be a fluke.”. The seizures stopped for another seven days. Charlotte takes a dosage of cannabis oil in her food two times a day. Today her life has taken a 360. She can ride her bike, feed herself, and is talking more and more. They renamed the strain of marijuana that she uses to Charlottes Web in honor of Charlotte. The strain charlotte web is now used by 42 other epilepsy and cancer patients to ease painful symptoms (Young 1). Compared to other prescription drugs marijuana is less harmful and addictive. Prescription drugs are responsible for more deaths than methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin all together (Gwynne 3). While there has never been a recorded death from marijuana. Prescription drugs are becoming a growing problem for the United States and should be controlled more carefully and strictly than marijuana. In this past year alone 15.2 percent of 12th graders abused prescription pills this past year (Gwynne 3). 8 percent of 12th graders used vicodin, 5 percent of 12th graders used oxycontin in the past 12 months (Gwynne 3). Prescription pills are responsible for more deaths than heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine combined (Gwynne 3). Marijuana's medical benefits are too immaculate to ignore and are far safer than prescription pills.
The legalization of marijuana will help benefit the economy, and also help reduce violence. Since Colorado legalized marijuana, it has blown away tax expectations (Wyatt 1). $98 million is the projected amount of sales Colorado should expect from marijuana in the next “fiscal” year (Wyatt 1). $40 million of the money that is made from the taxing on pot is already scheduled to be spent on schools, the money is projected to be made by only next year (Wyatt 1). Think of all the money that would be gained if it was legalized on a national level. It would bring all the drug money from underground and bring it to the surface. Also the U.S wouldn’t have to spend $20 Billion a year on the fight against marijuana (Sledge 1). The legalization will also help reduce drug violence in the United States, and Mexico. 28,000 US citizens have died since late 2006 by the Mexican drug war (Carmin 1). The National Drug Control Policy has mentioned that 60 percent the money made by the Mexican drug cartels is from marijuana (Carmin 1). The legalization of marijuana will help the economy while also, help reduce violence.
Marijuana is less dangerous than other legal and illegal choices. Continual marijuana use is at it’s peak since 1981 (Gwynne 2). Cigarettes and alcohol have each also reached historic lows (Gwynne 2). Consumption of alcohol is responsible for 80,000 deaths in America each year (Grush 1). While cigarettes are the cause for 480,000 deaths annually (Tobacco 1). While there has not been proof of a single marijuana related death. Synthetic marijuana is also becoming infamous since people are afraid to use marijuana since it’s illegal, so they turn to the more dangerous and potentially fatal synthetic marijuana. There are more people smoking fake marijuana than real marijuana (Gwynne 3). Prescription pills/drug abuse is becoming more common. “15.2 percent of 12th graders have abused prescription pills in the past year, making them the second most commonly used drug behind marijuana” (Gwynne 3). Prescription drugs are responsible for more deaths than methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin all together (Gwynne 3). Marijuana is less dangerous than other legal and illegal choices.
Opponents argue that marijuana gives a false sense of pleasure that will only lead to addiction. They look at it as a crutch to setting aside solving the problems that a person comes upon. They feel it does not help set a clear path to becoming a strong, helpful person in society (Wright 1). It is viewed as an “escape mechanism” that could lead to further problems and eventually addiction (Wright 2). In 1992 the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse stated changes in a person’s behavior when using marijuana. It is also more difficult for a person to concentrate, move and keep their memory (Voth 3). This kind of behavior could also lead to a less motivated person who could not show up to work and neglect their families. Even opponents agree that limited use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, as long as it is under a physician’s care, is okay to do (Wright 3). It has also been noted that any kind of smoking can lead to physical difficulties that could hurt major organs. People who use marijuana more often need medical attention for respiratory diseases than those who do not smoke marijuana or tobacco (Mack 39). If those are the worst of the negatives and arguments against marijuana, there shouldn’t be an argument on whether to legalize it or not. All of these arguments can also be used against alcohol, cigarettes, and other serious drugs at higher extents. Also while it could lead to more
less motivated people, it can also have the reverse effect and lead to more motivated people that are willing to do more for their lives and people around their lives.
Why is a substance that has so many benefits still illegal? The propaganda and bias opinions against marijuana must stop, kids shouldn’t be growing up learning that marijuana will ruin your life. The strength behind legalization is growing stronger everyday. More and more states are opening their eyes and pushing marijuana whether it’s medicinal or recreational.
Gwynne, Kristen. "Teens Are Choosing Marijuana over More Harmful Substances." Teens at Risk. Ed. Stephen P. Thompson. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Study: Why Teen Pot Smoking Could Be a Good Thing." www.alternet.org. 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.
Voth, Eric A. "Should Marijuana Be Legalized As A Medicine? No, It's Dangerous And Addictive." World & I 9.6 (1994): 93. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.
Wright, George Newton, Heather. "Counterpoint: There Are No Good Reasons To Legalize Marijuana." Points Of View: Legalization Of Marijuana(2013): 2. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.
Grush, Loren. "Alcohol Consumption Is the Direct Cause of 80,000 Yearly Deaths in the Americas." Fox News. N.p., 15 Jan. 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.
Young, Saundra. "Marijuana Stops Child's Severe Seizures." Cnn Health. N.p., 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.
Wyatt, Kristen. "Colorado's Legal Marijuana Market Is Bringing in Way More Tax Revenue than Expected Read More: Http://www.businessinsider.com/colorado-pot-market-tax-2014-2#ixzz2vBp002uJ." Business Insider. N.p., 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.
"Tobacco-Related Mortality." Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. N.p., 6 Feb. 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.
Sledge, Matt. "Marijuana Prohibition Now Costs the Government $20 Billion a Year:
Economist." Huffingtonpost. N.p., 20 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 Mar. 2014.