The Legalization of Marijuana

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Marijuana is an herb that contains chemicals called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are found in the highest concentration in the leaves and blossoms. Marijuana can be eaten or inhaled and affect the central nervous system. Some people use marijuana recreationally to create a sense of well-being or to alter their senses. Marijuana is also taken for medicinal purposes.
In 2000, George Bierson wrote a newspaper article in the Massachusetts News, called “Marijuana, the Deceptive Drug” and concludes that marijuana is harmful in many ways. Bierson’s strongest supporting claim, being the physical harms of using marijuana. He argues that there is conclusive evidence of brain damage caused by the use of marijuana. These tested were done by Dr. Robert Heath, who gave test monkeys 2-3 “monkey-sized” joints per day for six months. These dosages are extremely high, and exponentially higher than anything the average recreational or medical user would ingest. Bierson’s other claim of physical harm is his claims of the damage done to both the reproductive and the immune system, again these claims are based on invalid experiments administered to monkeys, mice and other animals, not humans.
An additional argument made by Bierson is that the use of marijuana is the users “gateway” to get into harder drugs. Bierson states in his article that “Marijuana is the seed from which the scourge of drug abuse grows. If we stop the marijuana, we will stop the rest of drug abuse.” I personally have several issues with this statement: the simple fact that “hard drug” users have used marijuana does not conclude that the latter is the result of the first. As Scientific American points out, studies show people who use marijuana first before trying other drugs is correlation and not causation. People who go on to use harder drugs also tend to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol before trying the other substances. Also according to government surveys, an estimate of 80 million Americans have used…

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