Current Drug Policy in the United States Essay

2190 Words 9 Pages
One of the aspects of current drug policy in the United States that continues to provide

tension and a level of debate is why certain drugs, such as nicotine, are allowed to be produced

and consumed within government regulation whereas other drugs, such as marijuana, are

completely and entirely outlawed by the federal government. One might say that the reason

for such a differential has to do with the overall level of harm differential that exists between

these two drugs; however, when one considers the fact that both drugs are ultimately damaging

to one’s health – if inhaled – the level of differential between them, from a quality of health

standpoint, is negligible. Within such an understanding, the following paper will
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As

the book entitled Attitudes Towards the Legalization of the Use of Marijuana notes, “Even

though much of the debate over marijuana legalization has been centered upon the possible

benefits that medical marijuana could provide the user, a plurality of pharmacists and other

medical professionals agree that existing treatments can invariably present a better level of pain

remediation and/or glaucoma treatment as compared to smoking or otherwise ingesting

marijuana” (Zhu 29). Although marijuana is not unique in that its use has both a series of side

effects and benefits, this paper will attempt to categorize this, discuss their nature, and draw

conclusion as to the overall effects with regards to whether medical marijuana is worthy of

continuing to be used as a drug due to its inherent benefits or should be discontinued as a drug/

treatment as a function of the risk it poses to the individual. Yet, the battle over marijuana

legalization is not something that many states are willing to leave up to the federal government.

As one author noted, “The issue of marijuana legalization is one that has encouraged many of the

more progressive/liberal states to make the first move in decriminalizing, and in many cases

tacitly encouraging, the legalization of marijuana” (Tutro 243).

With respect to some of the most important side effects that have been medically proven,

one has to note that the smoking of any substance

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