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medical marijuana - William Booth Professor Kerner ENC 1102...

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William Booth Professor Kerner ENC 1102 April 11, 2011 Consider this: “Marijuana is the only drug Cathy Jordan says helps her fight Lou Gehrig’s disease. The 59-year-old mother smokes two joints every night to relieve depression and muscle spasms, and to boost her appetite”(Scott 1). She says that smoking marijuana is the only thing that is keeping her alive. "Anti- depressants made me a zombie and other drugs had bad side effects. The crime is that people like me can't get it legally"(Scott 2). Should medical marijuana be legal? Does marijuana help people that are seriously ill? Is marijuana more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes? Is marijuana a “gateway drug”? What are the exaggerated harmful affects of marijuana use? Will the legalization of marijuana help the economy? Anna Scott, who is an author for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune , said, “Medically speaking, studies have shown benefits from marijuana, particularly for glaucoma and tremors. It has also been shown to increase appetite and alleviate the nausea caused by cancer treatments“(Scott 3). Marijuana is a very useful substance with a very bad reputation; “In the past 30 years, 10 million people have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the U.S., the vast majority of them for possession and use,”(Glasser 1) was said One of the main reasons marijuana is illegal is because it is thought to be a gateway drug, but according to Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, “Most marijuana users do not touch hard drugs” (Earleywine 1). Medical marijuana needs to be legalized because it benefits the national economy, it
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benefits physical and mental health, and it has many myths and misconceptions regarding it. However, some people disagree. They feel that marijuana should stay illegal for a couple of reasons. Many conservatives believe that the use of marijuana is used as a gateway drug to more serious and addictive drugs. According to The Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is an organization to reduce anything that has to do with illegal drugs, “using marijuana can worsen depression and lead to more serious mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and even suicide”(“Marijuana Use” 1). Although many people feel marijuana should stay illegal, there is a class of people that believe that the legalization of marijuana can benefit the country. With the sudden collapse of the national economy, it is safe to say that the United States should look for alternatives in trying to reduce the national budget, and that includes legalizing marijuana. “Kim Russell, the founder of People United For Medical Marijuana, suggested $200 million a year could be gained in tax revenue” (Scott 4). With these kinds of numbers it is clear to see how much our national deficit would benefit from the tax revenue generated. An article from the S t. Petersburg Times read, “Florida could add $175 million in tax revenues.
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