Criminalizing_Nature_Final Draft

Criminalizing_Nature_Final Draft - Criminalizing Nature 1...

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Criminalizing Nature 1 Criminalizing Nature Stephanie Kelley Axia College of University of Phoenix
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Criminalizing Nature 2 Criminalizing Nature Marijuana, medically known as THC, has long been at the center of debates. Some sides say that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to health and mental problems. A few sides of the marijuana debate believe that marijuana is nothing but an herb. Still others believe it to be a miracle medication helping people at times when no other medication can. I am not going to delve into those arguments. I believe that marijuana should never have been scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency to begin with. This essay is not about whether we should or should not legalize marijuana or why. Instead, I am going to look at why marijuana should never have been made illegal in the first place. The following is a quote from the Department of Justice website (21 USC Sec. 812 01/22/02.) Placement on schedules; findings required Except where control is required by United States obligations under an international treaty, convention, or protocol, in effect on October 27, 1970, and except in the case of an immediate precursor, a drug or other substance may not be placed in any schedule unless the findings required for such schedule are made with respect to such drug or other substance. The findings required for each of the schedules are as follows: (1) Schedule I. - (A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
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Criminalizing Nature 3 (B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. In order for a drug to be considered Schedule 1 it must have a high potential for abuse. Numerous studies have been done to find out if marijuana is physically or mentally addictive.” Essentially all drugs can be used in "an addictive fashion" by some people. However, for any drug to be identified as highly addictive there should be evidence that substantial numbers of users repeatedly fail in their attempts to discontinue use and develop use-patterns that interfere with other life activities” (Erowid 2005) “A longitudinal study of young adults who had first been surveyed in high school also found a high "discontinuation rate" for marijuana. While 77% had used the drug, 74% of those had not used in the past year and 84% had not used in the past month.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2006) The only evidence that has been found that may imply that marijuana is addicting is a 1976 study conducted by New York Academy of Sciences that found that extreme amounts of marijuana ingestion over a long period produces what may be considered withdrawal symptoms in study subjects. The study also had to point out that when humans are allowed to control their own consumption they do not come anywhere near the levels of ingestion that the study looked at. (Experimental Observations 2004)
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Criminalizing_Nature_Final Draft - Criminalizing Nature 1...

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