Throughout the world, drugs are a big topic on everyone’s minds. Everyone has a stand on whether drugs are good or bad. Music and movies have taken in millions of dollars off movies that are about drug use like Pineapple Express or both Harold and Kumar movies. All the movies have drug use (mostly marijuana) throughout the movie and make a joke about how great it is to be on these drugs. Some people are very positive about these movies and love seeing them. Then there are people who are extremely against any drug use because of the things they hear people saying on how it will kill them and everything without looking up the actual effects and the long-term effects that a certain drug can do. There are many good reasons to have drug use available, but only used for medicinal purposes, not just to have fun. A few years ago, I did a research paper on the legalization of marijuana for medical use only. While writing this I found many good things that I would not have known without this research. Between 1937 and 1947, the government spent $220 million on the war against drugs. Shortly after the “war” escalated to $1.5 billion and by 1969 the government spent $9 billion on the war against marijuana. The money was used on commercializing how terrible it is. They also created a movie called “Reefer Madness” which was meant to scare young people into not smoking marijuana. It showed things like both a man and a woman smoking and then laughing uncontrollably while the man killed someone. This scared people into not smoking. The amount of paying to keep the “war” going on is still rising today. Harry J. Anslinger propaganda campaign convinced the public that marijuana was a "killer drug." Voters without any knowledge demanded action even without any proof of the harm that comes from smoking it. On October 2, 1937, without any open debate, scientific enquiry, or political objection, President Roosevelt signed the Marijuana Tax Law. The law made it illegal to possess marijuana in the U.S. without a special tax stamp issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. So marijuana wasn’t yet illegal if you bought the stamp for $1, but because the department did not issue any tax stamps it was then illegal under the act.
But what makes weed so bad? After looking through “The Effects of Drugs on Decision Making” the only thing I can see fit to making it bad is that while you are on drugs your decision-making is poor, which everyone already knows. This is not a new concept. Being a part of a drug and alcohol free youth group for four years, I have come to understand the ups and downs of drugs through presentations and stories that presenters would come and talk to us about. One things that “The Effects of Drugs on Decision Making” had to say was that “Although marijuana usually provides a pleasant experience, it can lead to anxiety, depression, impaired memory, confusion, difficulty in concentrating, impaired cognition and judgment, delusions and auditory hallucinations,” (91). When reading this I laughed because marijuana cures most of those things like anxiety and depression, just to name a few of the things that were claimed.
Now why are cigarettes legal but marijuana is not? According to drugwarfacts.org cannabis has killed all of zero people as of May 8th, 2013. While cigarettes have killed 440,000 people a year according to ccdc.gov.
Lester Grinspoon, a Psychiatry at Harvard wrote in the Boston Globe but restated in medicalmarijuana.procon.org that.
Doctors and nurses have seen that for many patients, cannabis is more useful, less toxic, and less expensive than the conventional medicines prescribed for diverse syndromes and symptoms, including multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, migraine headaches, severe nausea and vomiting, convulsive disorders, the AIDS wasting syndrome, chronic pain, and many others.
This shows that even highly trained doctors have witnessed marijuana-helping sicknesses