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Legalization of Marijuana In The Rest Of U.S States

Legalizationof Marijuana In The Rest Of U.S States


Legalizationof Marijuana in the Rest of U.S States

Thesubject concerning whether or not marijuana (cannabis) should belegalized has attracted debates from a wide array of academicians.Whilst some of them concur regarding legalization, critics argue thatthe drug has detrimental social, health and economic impacts.Marijuana has been evidenced by researches to be the most frequentlyused prohibited drug. For example, in the United States, more than50% of drug abusers are said to use marijuana. This extensiveobservation has stimulated support regarding the liberalization ofmarijuana policy (Green, 1998b). Marijuana is linked with a widearray of risk factors. For instance, critics have argued thatlegalizing the drug will amplify its availability therefore,increasing its use. Marijuana has also been connected with addiction,marijuana users go through various brain modifications and that isthe main cause of the intoxication. No researches have proven theeffectiveness and safety of marijuana in reducing intraocularpressure amongst glaucoma patients, marijuana has a negative effecton education achievement, the drug acts as an antecedent to the useof other substances, it causes impairment on intellectual function,smoked marijuana affects and causes harm to the cells that line thebronchial passage and the respiratory tract in general, and lastly,the effectiveness and safety of the drug as a medicine is alsoquestionable. On the other hand, proponents argue that theavailability and use of marijuana is already extensive and thusamplifying its availability may emasculate the black market butwithout augmenting its use (Green, 1998c).

NahasGG, ed, Sutin KN, ed, Agurell S, ed. Marijuanaand Medicine.Totawa, NJ: Humana Press. In press.

Morerecently, legislation has been passed by certain states (withsubsequent revocation in 1 state) that has led to a resurgence ofinterest in the evaluation of possible medical uses of marijuana.Extensive evaluations have resulted in 1 report to the director ofthe National Institutes of Health,11 and will result in another fromthe Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.Furthermore, a meeting on this topic held in March 1998 at New YorkUniversity School of Medicine, New York, will result in publicationof a book in the spring of 1999.12 In many areas of interest, thereis little but anecdotal material on which to rely, but in the area ofglaucoma, there exists a substantial literature.”

Anumber of states have legalized marijuana for medical purpose,recreation purposes or for both purposes. States like Colorado andWashington have legalized marijuana for purpose recreation. Hawaii,Massachusetts, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado and Michiganamong other states have legalized the drug for medical use.Legalization of marijuana to other states has not gone through yet(Green, 1998a). In light of this, the paper focuses on the question:Should the rest of the U.S states legalize the sale, use andpossession of marijuana? In order to answer this question, the paperfocuses on several issues including arguments put forth by thebenefits of marijuana, the risk factors of drug use, and theimplications of legalization. This would assist in making a generalconclusion on whether the states that have not yet legalizedmarijuana should do so.

Variousstates have legalized marijuana either for medical or recreationpurpose. The states have enacted marijuana regulations which make thedrug legal. Experience form such states have demonstrated thatmarijuana use amongst the adolescence do not amplify as a result ofits legalization. This can be linked with the reason that theavailability and use of marijuana is extensive in various states andthus amplifying its availability may emasculate the black marketwithout augmenting its use. Besides, the enactment of marijuana lawsimplies that states governments would be in a position to control thesale, usage, and possession of the drug. Surveys performed in otherstates have also evidenced reduction in teenager drug use after theenactment of the laws. Advocates of marijuana legalization have usedthese arguments to support their claims. They argue that states arein a better position to control the sale, use as well as possessionof marijuana once it is made legal.

Green,K. (1998a). Marijuana smoking vs. cannabinoids for glaucoma therapy.ArchOphthalmol116(11):1433-1437.

Anumber of health hazards of marijuana have been identified, but someare difficult to document completely.9-10,13 Acute effects areincreased pulse rate, orthostatic hypotension, euphoria, andconjunctival hyperemia.14-15 Long-term clinical effects in humansinclude respiratory, hormonal, and pulmonary toxic effects, althougheffects on many other organ systems, including the brain, have beennoted.14-28 Marijuana smoking leads to emphysemalike lung changesthat are caused by the products of marijuana burning (ie,cannabinoids) or through the release of tars, carcinogens, and othervolatile materials, as occurs with tobacco smoke.16-17 The latterproducts, however, occur in greater concentration than in tobaccosmoke.19 The cognitive effects induced by marijuana are of equalconcern these assume greater relevance with chronic, repetitiveexposure, especially in the age group in which glaucoma is mostprevalent.18, 20-28 These factors must be considered when potentialchronic use of cannabis is considered as a treatment. This isespecially true of glaucoma, where continuous use would be necessaryto control this 24-hour-a-day disease, requiring as many as 2920 to3650 marijuana cigarettes per year.”

Marijuanahas been linked with a wide range of risk factors, the reason as towhy critics argue against its legalization. Clinically, marijuana hasbeen evidenced to result in addiction as addicts portray variouscharacteristics of addiction. According to the Glaucoma ResearchFoundation (GRF), individuals with glaucoma necessitate taking highdosage of marijuana through continuous inhalation to ensureeffectiveness (Green, 1998a). GRF argues that this is the only way inwhich the drug can clinically generate significant results.Continuous employment of the drug for a long time produces variousside impacts, and this is the reason as to why marijuana is termed asa poor preference in the management of glaucoma. Up till now, noresearches have proven the effectiveness and safety of marijuana inreducing intraocular pressure amongst glaucoma patients better thanother drugs available in the market. Smokedmarijuana affects and causes harm to the cells that line thebronchial passage and the respiratory tract in general. The harmweakens the capacity of the respiratory system to repelmicroorganisms and clear toxins. Besides, it results in inflammatorymodifications and these are evidenced in abusers in form of amplifiedcough, phlegm, and panting. Marijuana smokers have a high probabilityof developing both chronic and severe bronchitis. Acuteeffects are increased pulse rate, orthostatic hypotension, euphoria,and conjunctival hyperemia (Green,1998c).


Green,K. (1998a). Marijuana smoking vs. cannabinoids for glaucoma therapy.ArchOphthalmol116(11):1433-1437.

GreenK. (1998b). The ocular effects of cannabinoids. In: ZadunaiskyJA, Davson H, eds. Current Topics in Eye Research. Orlando, Fla:Academic Press Inc1979 1:175-215.

GreenK. (1998c). Marijuana effects on intraocular pressure. In: DranceSM, Neufeld AH, eds. Glaucoma: Applied Pharmacology in MedicalTreatment. New York, NY: Grune &amp Stratton Inc1984:507-526.