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Marijuana Law Reform

The most interesting social issue of the 21st century must have to be the coming acceptance of marijuana as a therapeutic and recreational activity.  Throughout the research that I have conducted, there is blatant and conflicting views, but it is also to be noted that this is still illegal in most states and at the federal level, therefore there will be conflicting views from varying organizations as well as medical associations.  There is much due credit to this little plant, and in some cases, extremely tall plant.  Most of the US population has at some point or another experimented or enjoyed this drug and its psychoactive properties.

New research in its federally limited restraints has shown that previous allegations to the negative view of this plant were misconceptions or misinterpreted.  In the latest Gallup Poll, from October 17th 2011 has shown that citizens are split on legalization of the drug.  The study shows that popular support is inversely proportional to age, and strong showing between political ideologies as well.

Back on November 5, 1996 Proposition 215 passed by popular vote with 56% favorability to state-wide legalization of medical marijuana.  As a result of California voters enacting this law, the FDA has since approved the use of Marinol, the synthetic version of  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.  Under the law, “conditions typically covered by the law include but are not limited to: arthritis; cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; HIV or AIDS; epilepsy; migraine; and multiple sclerosis,” and according to the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), citing almost 80 sources, the downside to the use of this FDA-approved drug, Marinol has a very negative cost-benefit analysis, as well as either too strong, not as predictable with its effectiveness among other complications and side-effects similar to conventional use of the plant.

NORML also provides a list that is easy to access with a list of health organizations supporting immediate legal access to medical marijuana, (simplified version).  The Lancet, a British medical journal in 2004 published an article that supports marijuana law reform.  Other countries, as is well-known have decriminalized marijuana.  It is to be noted that this movement appears to be gaining steam, and some feel it is only a matter of time before this will be placed on ballots throughout most states, which will in turn bring it to a national level.  One thing is certain, and it is hardly disputable, prohibition is neither cost-effective nor is there much societal benefit.


April 15, 2012 Posted by | Healthcare, Opinion, Social Issues, Social Issues | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments