Hacima M. Lisaya-Kelley Essay Sample
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Drugs, Marijuana, Medicine, Law, Medical Marijuana, Management, Criminal Justice, Administration
Ms. Val Ierley
Why I Would Like For Others Agree To Legalization of Marijuana
Marijuana remains a part of the $320 billion illicit drug industry dominated by organized criminal groups across the world. Many illicit narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances such as cocaine and heroin are dangerous, alter the mid and create unhealthy addictions that are ultimately detrimental to users. However, unlike many of the banned substances, marijuana has considerable applications in the treatment and management of many medical conditions, some of which are without cure. Medical research points to limited addictive and mind-altering effects, which only occur with improper, non-medical use. While the Food and Drug Administration is yet to approve medical marijuana pending further research, it is evident that the greatest challenge that medical marijuana faces is far from scientific, but political. Medical marijuana should be legalized not only to ensure that millions of deserving patients benefit, but also to make the drug safer and stifle the criminal enterprise that currently benefits from it.
First, medical marijuana should be legalized because of the potential medical applications/benefits that it promises. Marijuana is a cannabinoid, whose chemical components include an ingredient that is associated with a 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a mind-altering component. Marijuana may affect an individual’s mental process of how they deal with information and make sense of the world. These processes involve consciousness, imagination, and cognition (“Lecture 1,” 2015). So therefore, thinking is a part of our mental description that describes and show’s all human interaction (“Lecture 1,” 2015). However, other than THC, Marijuana contains upwards of 100 other cannabinoids, with widely proven medical applications. According to Gieringer & Rosenthal (2008), medical research has revealed that marijuana can be safely be used in the treatment of myriads of different medical conditions, relieve pain and better the lives of patients struggling with presently incurable and painful chronic diseases. It is useful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis), relieve chronic pain, seizures, inflammation and substance use disorders. Effectively, it is patently irrational to continue criminalizing marijuana when it holds such immense promise. While there is a slight chance of Marijuana causing harm to patients if it is abused, an even greater risk exists for nearly all drugs. In addition, there are numerous legal substances such as tobacco and alcohol, which result in considerable costs to the users and society, but do not have as many benefits as promised by medical marijuana.
Second, marijuana should be legalized in order to allow legitimate and competitive manufacturers to enter the industry, which will in turn cut out organized criminal groups that currently supply it. Since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, drug criminalization policies have remained the most dominant across world remain, but these have not succeeded in halting the illicit use of potentially harmful drugs. It remains largely illegal to cultivate, purchase, and/or possess narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in many countries across the world, but the supply of illegal drugs has only increased over the decades. Criminalization laws have resulted in the emergence of lucrative black markets for medical/recreational marijuana and other drugs, and with them, organized criminal rings. The Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking cartels generate an estimated $18 billion and $39 billion annually, from wholesale drug sales, and even more from money laundering. By legalizing marijuana and allowing for competitive and regulated manufacturing, the lucrative black markets for the same would easily shrink, effectively allowing the government to fight organized crime.
Third, given its widespread use for medical and recreational purposes, marijuana legalization will encourage its safe and hygienic use. Evidence from countries such as the Netherlands and Portugal where limited decriminalization has occurred indicates that such policies improve safe, responsible and use of such drugs. Suppliers would also be open to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, the Departments of Health, Agriculture and Justice, which should ensure that the products are necessarily beneficial to the patients. In addition, the regulation would allow local authorities, state and federal governments to levy taxes on the products, which can be plowed back into law enforcement and research.
Medical marijuana holds immense promise in the treatment and management of painful chronic conditions. While there has always been potential for from the use of the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, scientific evidence is emphatic that this risk is only limited with regard to medical marijuana. This risk is especially insignificant given the more than 100 possible healthy uses for the drug. In fact, many powerful drugs that are used today for the treatment/management of conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and pain have worse side effects than marijuana. This fact belies the pretense that in spite of its benefits, marijuana is a dangerous mind-altering drug. Legalization will break down the business model for criminal groups that currently dominate the industry, while at once rendering the drug’s use both hygienic, safe and beneficial.
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