MARIJUANA LEGAL FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES
This research paper presents the topic of legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Claims regarding medical use, with support for arguments are discussed. Predictions regarding the issues are concluded.
California voters passed the Medical Marijuana initiative in 1996. This law allows for the physician to recommend marijuana for compassionate use. This resulted in a fierce response from the federal government which believes that evidence is lacking regarding beneficial effects of marijuana use; legal use is believed to send the wrong message to young people. These fears are not confirmed, a survey demonstrated that 83 percent of marijuana smokers never progressed to other serious drugs (Annas 435).
Large donations from financiers and business and political leaders, helped drug legalization advocates win breakthrough campaigns in California and Arizona. Voters legalized medical use of marijuana and called for emphasis on treatment more than imprisonment of nonviolent drug users. The medical marijuana movement succeeded despite harsh attacks from President Clinton's drug czar Barry McCaffery and California's Republican Attorney General Dan Lungren (n.a. 4-5).
Opponents of medical use of marijuana make claims that can be argued against. Typically, three arguments are made against legal use. The first claim is that the main ingredient of the drug, THC, is legally available in pill form (Marinol). However, the pill is expensive and is believed to cause higher levels of anxiety and depression. It is also argued that marijuana has not been thoroughly tested. This may be due to government resistance to providing marijuana for research. A third objection is that legalizing marijuana for the ill, would provide a negative example for children; this belief is not substantiated (Brookhiser 9).
In contrast, many sick people have reported relief from smoking marijuana. Thi...