The Legalization Of Marijuana


Marijuana (also spelled marihuana) is a psychoactive drug made from the dried leaves and flowering parts of the hemp plant. It is one of the most strictly classified illegal drugs in the United States. Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance, which defines it as having “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use.” Marijuana is therefore classified more severely than cocaine and morphine, which as Schedule II drugs are also banned for general use, but can be prescribed by doctors. It is illegal to buy, sell, grow, or possess marijuana in the United States. Marijuana prohibition comprises a ...

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and local communities spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on prevention programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), in which local police officers visit schools to teach young people to refrain from trying marijuana and other drugs.
However, public controversy has been growing over the two assumptions-high abuse potential and no legitimate medical use-that underlie marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug. In turn, disputes over the abuse and medical potential have shaped differences of opinion over public policy. Many of those who question one or both of these assumptions about marijuana have advocated a full or partial relaxation of the governments blanket prohibition of the drug, while those who accept these assumptions generally are opposed to any full or partial legalization of marijuana.
Supporters of marijuana’s continued prohibition argue that the drug is easily abused and can lead to numerous physical and psychological harms. ...

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tried marijuana have since quit. Researchers working with rats have found that marijuana is a far less addictive substance for the animals than cocaine or heroin Pro-Legalization activist R. Keith Stroup summed up the views of many who oppose marijuana prohibition when he asserted before a committee that “moderate marijuana use is relatively harmless-far less harmless than that of either tobacco or alcohol.”
Whether or not marijuana, as a Schedule I drug, truly has “no currently accepted medical use” is also a matter of public controversy. In November 1996, voters in two states, California and Arizona, passed referenda that legalized marijuana for medical use ...

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Added: 10/2/2004 01:07:17 AM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4470
Pages: 17

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