research paper - Kate Enright Ms Jacky English 105 E01 30...

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Kate Enright Ms. Jacky English 105 – E01 30 October 2005 A weak, bald man holds a joint in one hand. He takes a deep breath and inhales the smoke. He exhales and starts to cough. Although this man is technically a criminal, he is also a cancer patient. Thousands of people are in the same situation as this man. Because marijuana is illegal, people who suffer from illnesses, such as cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis, have to choose between breaking the law and aiding their illnesses. Many are aware of the harmful effects caused by marijuana. However, few are aware of the benefits marijuana has on patients with terminal diseases. Marijuana should be legalized in the United States. Marijuana has already been legalized in some states for medicinal purposes. Proposition 215 or the Compassionate Use Act allows patients to “grow, possess, and use medical marijuana when approved by physician, permits assistance of a caregiver who is authorized to help patient grow, acquire, or consume medical marijuana, and immunizes physicians from liability for discussing or recommending medical use of marijuana” (Cockburn ) ( Demmer 35). The states that passed this law were Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington (Demmer 35). Maryland is attempting to pass laws like the Compassionate Use Act in the future. “In the past six years, nineteen different state initiatives to ease regulations on marijuana (for recreational use) have become law,” (Paul 18). However, “the federal government continues to enforce federal marijuana laws against medical marijuana users even in states which have enacted legislation specifically
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allowing such use,” (Demmer 35). Without the legalization of marijuana through the federal government, state laws are basically ineffective. It seems unfair that the federal government can over rule the laws that the states have made legal. In Byron Demmer’s article, “Arrest Suffering, Not Medical Marijuana Patients,” Roger Pilon, Ph.D., J.D states, The Constitution does not establish a national government of general power, rather, it establishes a government of enumerated powers only. .. There is no federal police power…The police power resides in the individual states—the general governments under our system of dual sovereignty. Thus, regulations to secure rights in the areas of health, safety, and medical practice are the doctrinal and historic province of the states, not the federal government,” (Demmer 36). Denying patients use of marijuana in states where it has been legalized conflicts with Americans Constitutional rights. It can be argued that the government should not allow doctors to prescribe harmful medications such as marijuana. Marijuana does cause harms to the body. Some of these harms include: “being carcinogenic, lowering the immune system, damaging the central nervous system, and being intoxicant” (Demmer 35). “Using marijuana damages the lungs slightly worse than smoking cigarettes,” states Dr. James Patel, a physician who
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research paper - Kate Enright Ms Jacky English 105 E01 30...

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