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Thursday, June 09, 2011 Much debate has been conducted regarding the legalization of marijuana, with an unusual amount of contradicting research. There are many perspectives to take into account, and they always seem to come down to the personal motives of the debater. Whether it’s being argued from a medical, political, or economical perspective; it continually comes down to whether Federal Government should be our dictators or we should be responsible for our actions.
The Canadian medical Association Journal reports many testimonies of the successful use of medical marijuana. One such case is Jean Charles Pariseau (30) who is an AIDS patient. Were he to stick to his legally prescribed medications, Mr. Pariseau would probably be dead now [Gray]. He was unable to keep food or medication in his system, weighed only 82 pounds, was bed ridden, and getting worse. His doctor Kelby reports that, “He is doing remarkably well because he can now digest his medications… …
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The HIV has been suppressed because of his improved immune function, he has put on weight and he has learned to walk again, with a cane” [Gray]. Marijuana has shown to alleviate, and in some cases stunt or repress the development and expansion of HIV, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Glaucoma, Epilepsy, and many other ailments that affect millions of people around the world [Gray]. The Chinese have used Cannabis throughout history, the earliest evidence being that of the “Shennung Ben Ts’ao King”.
This documents origin has been attributed to Emperor Shennung who has said to have lived around 2,800 BCE. Within its volumes is written a vast explanation of the use of plants and herbs regarding medicine, and in the section regarding “Ma” (Cannabis; ?—?), great detail is written about the preparation and purpose of the herb, they literally used every part of the plant, but never smoked it as smoke is bad for the Ch’i. For example the flowers of the cannabis plant was used to relieve menstrual disorders and open wounds, while the seeds were prescribed for internal use for post-partum difficulties, aconite poisoning, vermillion poisoning, constipation, and obstinate vomiting [Smith]. This Document does warn against excessive use of the herb because it may cause “hallucinations and a staggering gait.”
Figure 1 A modern transcription of the Shennung Ben Ts’ao King, regarding the Chinese medical use of herbs. (University of shanghai) In America, marijuana has been legalized and is even sold publically to those with the appropriate permit. Currently there are fifteen states that have enacted laws that legalize marijuana1 [Procon.org] Unfortunately the federal government overrules such state laws as unconstitutional. Although the populace has voted in favor of legalizing the medical use of this substance, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can arrest, charge, and otherwise impose upon the people of America for the personal, recreational, and medicinal use of Marijuana as per the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). [D.E.A.]
According to an online survey involving 1010 adults from across Canada, 53% support legalizing Marijuana [Canseco], this shows that the Majority of Canadians also support the use of marijuana. This shows that the current laws in both America and Canada are not supporting the people’s demands which suggest that there’s more involved than is publically known. The most common suspect is that it would be difficult to tax this controlled substance. Regarding the economical angle of this topic, several important studies and statistics have been brought up. Firstly, according to the Canadian Police Association, there were 29,562 marijuana related arrests in 2009, while America had 1,663,582 during the same time.
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