Marijuana is widely accepted throughout the world both as a medicine and it is the third most popular recreational drug behind cigarettes and alcohol.
Marijuana has never killed anyone, yet it remains illegal and the laws against marijuana are more harmful than the actual plant itself. In the last decade more than 6.5 million Americans have been arrested. In 2008, there were 847,864 Americans charged with marijuana violation. That is such an astronomically high number I can’t understand a policy that would cause such damage to society.
This year California voters will have the opportunity to vote for the legalization of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana is estimated to bring in about $1.5 billion dollars in revenue, plus another $1 billion in law enforcement savings. This isn’t even including the many other benefits that come with it like providing jobs. “I believe it will create tens of thousands of sustainable, single-earner union jobs in the long run,” said Dan Rush of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “All the way from the agricultural process to the retail process to the food processing process to the transportation process.”
Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning, and more than 400,000 people die from smoking tobacco. Marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause an overdose. In February, 2000 researchers in Madrid destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC(the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). This was the second test of its kind. The first one was performed 26 years prior in 1974. Funded by the National Institute of Health, researchers at the Medical College of Virginia set out to find evidence that marijuana is damaging to the immune system. What they found instead was that THC slowed three types of cancer in mice. It slowed lung and breast cancer along with a virus induced leukemia. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) quickly shut down the Virginia study.
If there were something that was proved to slow three different types of cancer then why would the DEA shut it down? This is information that should have gone straight to the front page of hundreds of medical journals.
In 1976 President Ford put an end to all public cannabis research giving the rights strictly to the pharmaceutical companies. They tried to develop a synthetic THC that would have all the medical benefits without the “high.” They were unsuccessful.
We have 14 states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use. This didn’t happen overnight. It has been a struggle. These states legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes due to evidence of it both being an effective medicine, and less harmful than many prescription drugs. Not to mention the fact that marijuana is significantly safer than alcohol and tobacco.
Recently the American Medical Association called for marijuana to be moved from a schedule 1 to a schedule 2 drug. A schedule 1 drug has no medical benefit however a schedule 2 drug would mean that it has medical benefits to it.
The DEA argues that marijuana is not a scientifically approved medicine. Marinol, the legal version of marijuana in the form of a capsule however is approved by science. This would make a good point except for the fact that the DEA doesn’t allow for marijuana to be studied. Let us not forget about the Virginia study that got shut down by the DEA after finding medicinal benefits to marijuana. Furthermore cancer patients and many other medical marijuana patients report marijuana in its raw form is a much better medicine. It works instantly. They don’t have to wait an hour or so for the pill to kick in.
Another popular what I would like to call conspiracy theory or “Reefer Madness” is the fact that marijuana is a gateway drug to something more serious like cocaine or heroin. Someone can get all of these drugs via the same guy. If marijuana was sold and regulated like alcohol this might not be a problem. Also no one is selling bottles of Jack Daniels on school campuses. They are selling marijuana, and as long as it remains illegal, children will have easier access to marijuana than alcohol.
There are lots of people that want to keep marijuana illegal. Some of these people are marijuana users themselves. Some people are making such a profit based on the fact that it is illegal, and they can sell it for black market prices, that they want it to keep its illegal status. Also the pharmaceutical industry, the most profitable industry in the United States, does not want a medicine that can be grown for free in our backyards around.
I highly encourage everyone to go out and vote yes to marijuana legalization. Let’s help stop the violence, keep innocent nonviolent marijuana users out of jail, save California’s economy, create tens of thousands of jobs, and give Americans the safer choice.