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Legalization of Marijuana

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LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA by T.H.

 

The Time Has Come

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO MARIJUANA:

 

Marijuana has been vilified in America over the past 70+ years. Despite it’s many practical uses, medicinal and industrial, our Federal government insists on maintaining the status quo that the growth, possession and use of marijuana is criminal despite the evidence that the legalization of marijuana would have a positive influence on America.

 

In this paper I will discuss the history of marijuana, the industrial uses of hemp, the prohibition of marijuana, the economical impact prohibition has on America, the effects of marijuana use on the mind and the body, marijuana for medical use, and how legalization of marijuana would have a positive influence on America. Although I support the legalization of marijuana I do not support the legalization of other Schedule I drugs,FN1 therefore this paper is not about the legalization of all drugs.

 

 

 

THE LONG HISTORY OF MARIJUANA:

 

Marijuana, as most people commonly know it, is really a plant called hemp, or "cannabis sativa." There are other plants called hemp, but cannabis hemp is the most useful of these plants. "Hemp" is any durable plant used since prehistory for many purposes, and cannabis is the most durable of the hemp plants. The cannabis plant also produces three very important products that other plants do not (in usable form): seed, pulp, and medicine. The cannabis sativa plant grows as weed and cultivated plant all over the world in a variety of climates and soils.FN2

 

Marijuana has been used throughout history; in 6000 B.C. cannabis seeds were used as food in China; in 4000 B.C. the Chinese used textiles made of hemp; the first recorded use of cannabis as medicine in China was in 2727 B.C.; and in 1500 B.C. the Chinese cultivated Cannabis for food and fiber. This time line goes on and on right through today.

 

 

 

HEMP AND ITS MANY USES:

 

It is thought that hemp was first brought to the New World in 1545 by the Spanish; it was introduced in Jamestown by the English in 1611 where it became a major commercial crop alongside tobacco and was grown as a source of fiber. Our forefathers grew hemp; in fact it was the principal crop at Mount Vernon and it was a secondary crop at Monticello. There are recorded notes made by George Washington regarding the cultivation and harvesting of hemp. These hemp crops, of course, were grown for industrial use only and there is no indication that our forefathers were using their crops recreationally! Today the hemp grown for industrial purposes have extremely low levels of THC (Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol delta 9-THC, the active component in cannabis) therefore it is impossible to get high from such hemp grown for industrial use.

 

During the Colonial Era Americans were legally bound to grow hemp. During the Second World War the federal government subsidized hemp and US farmers grew about a million acres of hemp as part of that program.FN3

 

Hemp is extraordinary in its diversity. There are over 25,000 different uses for the hemp plant! Because of how quickly hemp can be cultivated it is the Earth’s number one biomass resource FN4FN5. Hemp’s uses include but are certainly not limited to: fuel; food (hemp seeds provide an incredible source of protein-not only for people but for birds who seek out hemp seeds which have been mixed with other seeds); paper; textiles, (i.e. canvas, paper, cloth, rope); paint; detergent; varnish; oil; in; medicine; and building materials. Almost any product that can be made from wood, cotton, or petroleum (including plastics) can be made from hemp.FN6 In fact, hemp plastics are biodegradable!!

 

Besides its diversity, the practicality of utilizing hemp to its fullest potential is clear. Trees take from 50 to 100 years to grow; hemp’s growth cycle is 120 days! It is estimated that if the hemp pulp paper process reported by the USDA in 1916 were legal today it would soon replace 70% of all wood paper products.FN7 Despite all of it’s proven uses, all of which are beneficial to the planet Earth, the growth of industrial hemp in the United States remains a criminal act thanks to the robotic ravings of our federal government. Quoting Glenn Levant, president and founder of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) "Hemp is marijuana." Philip Perry, special agent in charge of the DEA's Rocky Mountain Division (ignorantly) states, "The effort to decriminalize hemp is "no more than a shallow ruse being advanced by those who seek to legalize marijuana."

 

It should be noted that the selling hemp products are not illegal and in fact the U.S. hemp-products industry does about $125 million in retail sales a year.FN8

 

 

 

HOW PROHIBITION OF MARIJUANA CAME ABOUT:

 

Although most states had local laws prohibiting marijuana use and possession, it wasn’t until 1937 that the federal government passed the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Interestingly, the congressional hearings on marijuana prohibition lasted all of two hours (in direct contract to most congressional hearings on new laws which last for days and days). There were exactly three bodies of testimonies testifying at these hearings. The first was Commissioner Harry Anslinger, the newly named commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (who happened to be appointed by his uncle-in-law, Andrew Mellon, who was the Secretary of the United States Treasury).

 

Commissioner Anslinger testified on the government’s behalf. Not surprisingly he was working from a text which he had not written himself but which had been written for him by a New Orleans District Attorney. Reading directly from this text Commissioner Anslinger told the Congressmen at the hearings, "Marihuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death." That was the Commissioner’s brilliantly insightful government testimony to support the marijuana prohibition.FN9

 

The second body of testimony to testify at this congressional hearing were industrial spokesmen. The first of these spokesmen was, believe it or not, a man representing the rope industry. This industry representative testified that it was cheaper to import from the Far East the hemp needed to make ropes and therefore the United States no longer needed to grow any more hemp to make rope. (Interestingly, five years later, in 1942, the United States was cut off from its sources of hemp in the Far East and, since we needed a lot of hemp to outfit our ships with rope for World War II, the Federal Government went into the business of growing hemp on gigantic farms throughout the Midwest and the South.FN10)

 

The paint and varnish spokesmen didn’t seem to care either which way. The only industrial spokesperson who objected to the Marihuana Tax Act at all was the birdseed representative who sung the praises of hemp seeds for the birds coats. Based on this objection the birdseed industry got an exemption from the Marihuana Tax Act for "denatured seeds."

 

The third body of testimony were two representatives of the medical field. The first testimony came from a pharmacologist who claimed that he had injected the active ingredient in marihuana into the brains of 300 dogs, two of which died. When asked by the Congressmen if he choose dogs for the similarity of their reactions to that of humans the answer of the pharmacologist was, "I wouldn't know, I am not a dog psychologist." (Interestingly, the active ingredient in marijuana was first synthesized in a laboratory in Holland after World War II therefore it is unknown to this day what this pharmacologist injected into the dogs.)FN11

 

The second testimony on behalf of the medical field came from the Chief Counsel to the American Medical Association, Dr. William C. Woodward. Dr. Woodward was the hearing to testify at the request of the American Medical Association. His exact quote to the congressmen was, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a dangerous drug." to which one of the Congressmen said, "Doctor, if you can't say something good about what we are trying to do, why don't you go home?" Another Congressman then said, "Doctor, if you haven't got something better to say than that, we are sick of hearing you."FN12 Remember, this testimony came from the Chief Counsel of the esteemed American Medical Association!

 

It should be no surprise that the bill passed.

 

The act did not itself criminalize the possession or usage of marijuana but instead levied a tax of approximately one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in marijuana. The penalty provisions for violators of the proper procedures could result in a fine of up to $2000 and five years' imprisonment. The intended result (and indeed, the result) of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act was to effectively make it too risky for anyone to deal in the substance.

 

During the war years the Bureau chose to concentrate on opiates and abandoned responsibility for most marijuana law enforcement to the states. In the post-war years, however, there was found to be a significant increase in narcotic drug abuse and the public began to be concerned with the spread of narcotic addiction, particularly among young persons. Congressional furor was aroused by the assertion that the use of marihuana inevitably led to the use of these harder drugs, particularly heroin.FN13

 

In 1951 Congress passed the Boggs Act FN14, increasing penalties for all drug violators. It was at this time, for the first time in federal drug legislation, that marijuana and the narcotic drugs were lumped together, since the Act provided uniform penalties for the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act (Boggs Act, ibid.) and the Marihuana Tax Act FN15. The states followed the federal lead. Then, in 1956, Congress passed the Narcotic Control Act, escalating the penalties still further. Once again the individual states followed suit.

 

The current Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 is a consolidation of numerous previous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances. The CSA places all substances that are regulated under existing federal law into one of five schedules. This placement is based upon the substance's medicinal value, harmfulness, and potential for abuse or addiction. Schedule I is reserved for the most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use, and, of course, is the current classification of marijuana.FN16

 

 

 

THE ECONOMICAL IMPACT PROHIBITION HAS ON AMERICA

 

A most comprehensive and informative report on this subject is, "The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition" by Jeffrey A. Miron, Visiting Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University, which was published in June, 2005. This paper concludes:

 

-- Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation would save approximately $7.7 billion in government expenditures on prohibition enforcement -- $2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels.

-- Revenue from taxation of marijuana sales would range from $2.4 billion per year if marijuana were taxed like ordinary consumer goods to $6.2 billion if it were taxed like alcohol or tobacco.

 

 

These impacts are considerable, according to the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. For example, $14 billion in annual combined annual savings and revenues would cover the securing of all "loose nukes" in the former Soviet Union (estimated by former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb at $30 billion) in less than three years. Just one year's savings would cover the full cost of anti-terrorism port security measures required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. The Coast Guard has estimated these costs, covering 3,150 port facilities and 9,200 vessels, at $7.3 billion total.FN21

 

A further comprehensive study which reports and analyzes national arrest data between 1995 and 2002 is, "Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrests in the United States," compiled by Jon Gettman, PhD, published by The NORML Foundation (2005). This report includes a detailed examination of the fiscal costs associated with the enforcement of marijuana laws at the state and county level.FN22 The findings include (but are not limited to) the following:

 

 

-- The enforcement of state and local marijuana laws annually costs US taxpayers an estimated $7.6 billion, approximately $10,400 per arrest. Of this total, annual police costs are $3.7 billion, judicial/legal costs are $853 million, and correctional costs are $3.1 billion. In both California and New York, state fiscal costs dedicated to marijuana law enforcement annually total over $1 billion.

-- Marijuana prohibition fails to produce intended results. Total US marijuana arrests increased 165% during the 1990s, from 287,850 in 1991 to 755,000 in 2003. However, these increased arrest rates have not been associated with a reduction in marijuana use, reduced marijuana availability, a reduction in the number of new marijuana users, reduced treatment admissions, reduced emergency room mentions of marijuana, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the price of marijuana.

 

 

The figures as stated above do not justify the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana. Decriminalization saves a tremendous amount in enforcement costs. It is reported that California alone saves $100 million per year.FN23

 

 

 

EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA ON THE MIND AND BODY:

 

Any discussion of marijuana should begin with the fact that there have been numerous official reports and studies, every one of which has concluded that marijuana poses no great risk to society and should not be criminalized. These include:

 

The National Academy of Sciences Analysis of Marijuana Policy (1982);

 

The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (the Shafer Report) (1973);

 

The Canadian Government's Commission of Inquiry (Le Dain Report) (1970);

 

The British Advisory Committee on Drug Dependency (Wooton Report) (1968);

 

The La Guardia Report (1944);

 

The Panama Canal Zone Military Investigations (1916-29); and

 

Britain's monumental Indian Hemp Drugs Commission.FN17

 

There are many conflicting views on how marijuana affects the mind and body. That in itself speaks volumes. For instance, are there many conflicting reports on how cigarettes affects a person’s health? Of course not. It is also interesting to note that, to the best of anyone's knowledge, not one person has ever died from a marijuana overdose. That most definitely cannot be said of alcohol.

 

The La Guardia Report is a treasure trove of information regarding the affects of marijuana on a person sociologically, medically, psychologically and pharmacologically. This study was conducted in 1944 when Fiorello LaGuardia was the mayor of New York City. Mr. LaGuardia appointed a special committee to make a thorough sociological and scientific investigation upon the advice of The New York Academy of Medicine. This study is viewed by many experts as the best study of any drug viewed in its social, medical, and legal context. The committee covered thousands of years of the history of marijuana. Among its conclusions: "The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word." And: "The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction, and no effort is made to create a market for those narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking." Finally: "The publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marihuana smoking in New York City is unfounded"FN18

 

In 1972, a Congressionally created commission called the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, whose members were appointed by then-President Richard Nixon, completed one of the most comprehensive reviews ever undertaken regarding marijuana and public policy. Their report, "Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding," proclaimed that "from what is now known about the effects of marihuana, its use at the present level does not constitute a major threat to public health," and recommended Congress and state legislatures decriminalize the use and casual distribution of marijuana for personal use. Since then, researchers have conducted thousands of studies regarding marijuana’s health impacts. None of these have revealed any findings dramatically different from those described by Nixon’s 1972 Commission. FN19

 

Another important study was conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years. This recent study, the largest of its kind, unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.FN20 Dr. Tashkin indicated that the findings "were against our expectations...We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use... What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect." Further, Tashkin stated that, " THC may kill aging cells and keep them from becoming cancerous."

 

Although I could go on and on quoting different studies done by well-respected doctors, government appointed committees, etc., the point that I am trying to make is that the supposed ill-effects of marijuana on the mind and/or body are not totally substantiated, unlike the ill-effects of cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol drinking, both of which are unprohibited. In any which way, the effects most definitely do not warrant total prohibition.

 

 

 

MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL USE

 

I. Is it Legal?

 

California's Proposition 215 was the first statewide medical marijuana voter initiative adopted in the USA. The passing of Prop 215 by a 56% majority of California voters in November, 1996, resulted in the addition of The Compassionate Use Act to the California Health and Safety Code which reads as follows:

 

"11362.5. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. (b) (1) The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that the purposes of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 are as follows: (A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief. (B) To ensure that patients and their primary care givers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction. (C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for non-medical purposes. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes. (d) Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient's primary care giver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician. (e) For the purposes of this section, "primary care giver" means the individual designated by the person exempted under this section who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person."FN24

 

Further, Senate Bill 420 which passed on September 20, 2003, was signed by the Governor on October 13, 2003, and which became effective on January 1, 2004, added an Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11362.7) to Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to controlled substances. Among other things, Article 2.5:

 

-- Allows agencies to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients (H&S § 11362.7(d)(2))

 

-- Created a completely voluntary and protective 1-year photo ID program for participating patients and/or care givers. (H&S § 11362.71(a)(1))

 

-- Provides "around the clock" validation of participation in the program when police confront patient or care giver (H&S § 11362.71(a)(2))

 

-- Promises confidentiality of records (H&S 11362.71(d)(1))

 

-- Stops arrests -- not just prosecutions -- of qualified individuals for possession, transportation, delivery or cultivation up to a very minimal level of 8 oz and 6 plants per patient (H&S § 11362.71(e))

 

-- Includes the right for an individual to appeal if rejected for a patient ID card (H&S § 11362.74 (b))

 

-- Gives Medi-Cal patients a 50% fee discount (H&S § 11362.755(a))

 

-- Requires police to comply with its provisions (H&S 11362.78)

 

 

Marijuana use/possession/cultivation, etc., is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, however federal charges are typically brought only in large cases where commercial distribution is suspected (e.g., cultivation of several hundred plants).

 

 

II. What are the Medical Benefits of Marijuana? – A Report.

 

Public opinion on the medical value of marijuana has been sharply divided. Some dismiss medical marijuana as a hoax that exploits our natural compassion for the sick; others claim it is a uniquely soothing medicine that has been withheld from patients through regulations based on false claims. Proponents of both views cite "scientific evidence" to support their views and have expressed those views at the ballot box in recent state elections. In January 1997, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) asked the Institute of Medicine to conduct a review of the scientific evidence to assess the potential health benefits and risks of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids. That review began in August 1997 and culminates with the report "Marijuana and Medicine, Assessing the Science Base" from the Institute of Medicine. This study was supported under Contract No. DC7C02 from the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy.FN25

 

This report summarizes and analyzes what is known about the medical use of marijuana; it emphasizes evidence-based medicine (derived from knowledge and experience informed by rigorous scientific analysis), as opposed to belief-based medicine (derived from judgment, intuition, and beliefs untested by rigorous science).FN26

 

After their nearly two-year review, the investigators affirmed: "Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs ... for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation. ... Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range tolerated for other medications." However, the authors noted that cannabis inhalation "would be advantageous" in the treatment of some diseases, and that marijuana's short- term medical benefits outweigh any smoking-related harms for some patients.FN27

 

 

III. What are the Medical Benefits of Marijuana? – The People.

 

So many people who are ill must resort to using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Many of these people have never used marijuana previously, thereby quelling the theory that the use of marijuana for illness is just an "excuse" to smoke pot.

 

The list of diseases which cannabis can be used for includes but is not limited to: multiple sclerosis, cancer treatment, AIDS (and AIDS treatment), glaucoma, depression, epilepsy, migraine headaches, asthma, pruritis, sclerodoma, erectile dysfunction, severe pain, and dystonia. There are over 60 chemicals in marijuana which may have medical uses. It is relatively easy to extract these into food or beverage, or into some sort of lotion, using butter, fat, oil, or alcohol. One chemical, cannabinol, may be useful to help people who cannot sleep. Another is taken from premature buds and is called cannabidiolic acid. It is a powerful disinfectant. Marijuana dissolved in rubbing alcohol helps people with the skin disease herpes control their sores, and a salve like this was one of the earliest medical uses for cannabis. The leaves were once used in bandages and a relaxing non-psychoactive herbal tea can be made from small cannabis stems.FN28

 

 

IV. Attempts at Reclassification of Marijuana for Medical Purposes

 

As stated before, marijuana is classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, a reservation for the most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use. Although many states have legalized medical marijuana, possession, use and cultivation is still illegal on the federal level.

 

There have been past attempts to reclassify marijuana. The first Petition was filed by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in May, 1972. The government declined to initiate proceedings on the basis of their interpretation of U.S. treaty commitments. NORML filed suit. The Court ruled against the government and ordered them to process the petition. After continuing to rely on treaty commitments in their interpretation of scheduling related issues concerning the petition a Court decision made it clear that the CSA requires a full scientific and medical evaluation and the fulfillment of the rescheduling process before treaty commitments can be evaluated.FN29

 

After 10 more years of hard-fought litigation, NORML got a response. In 1988, Francis L. Young, Administrative Law Judge for the DEA, recommended that marijuana be placed in schedule II because it has an accepted medical use in the United States. In his recommendation he stated,

 

"The overwhelming preponderance of the evidence in this record establishes that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States for nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy treatments in some cancer patients. To conclude otherwise, on this record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious." FN30

 

 

 

Nevertheless, the DEA formally rejected Judge Young's recommendations and, in 1994, the Court upheld the DEA's rejection of Judge Young's recommendations.

 

The second petition was filed by Jon Gettman in 1995. It included research and other data that emerged after the record was closed in the prior proceedings before Judge Young and focused primarily on whether cannabis has the high potential for abuse required for Schedule I status. However, in 2002 a federal court denied that petitioners had standing because the petitioners were not injured parties. FN31

 

In 2002, a loosely formed coalition composed of organizations and individuals supporting the reclassification of marijuana known as the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis submitted a formal rescheduling petition.

 

The purpose of this latest rescheduling petition is to demonstrate through volumes of the latest scientific and medical research that cannabis does not have a high potential for abuse, has a relatively low dependence liability, is safe for use under medical supervision, and has an accepted medical use in the United States. The petition asks the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove marijuana from Schedule I and consider its rescheduling into Schedule III, IV, or V. This petition is still in the works.FN32

 

 

V. The Medical Necessity Defense

 

Many states have not legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes and, in those states, raising a medical necessity defense may be necessary. The basis necessity defense, also known as the "choice of two evils" was available to those who, when confronted with a serious and immediate threat, found they could save themselves only by taking action that violated a law. FN33

 

The medical necessity defense was established for marijuana in United States v. Randall FN34 in which a glaucoma patient who smoked marijuana in order to retain his eyesight was found not guilty of violating anti-marijuana law by the District of Columbia Superior Court. Recognizing "the right of an individual to preserve and control his or her body," and observing that "the prohibition of marijuana is not well founded," the court concluded that "the evil the defendant sought to avert, blindness, is greater than that he performed to accomplish it, growing marijuana in his residence in violation of the District of Colombia Code." FN35

 

Generally, for a successful state necessity defense the defendant must show: 1) the circumstances which caused the unlawful act were unintentional; 2) the same objective could not have been accomplished using a less offensive alternative; and 3) that the evil sought to be avoided was more heinous than the unlawful act perpetrated to avoid it. Under federal law, a defendant must establish the existence of four elements to be entitled to a necessity defense: 1) that he was faced with a choice of evils and chose the lesser evil; 2) that he acted to prevent imminent harm; 3) that he reasonably anticipated a causal relation between his conduct and the harm to be avoided; and 4) that there were no other legal alternatives to violating the law. See , e.g., United States v. Aguilar, 883 F.2d 662, 693 (9th Cir. 1989). FN36

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

My thesis is that the legalization of marijuana would have a positive influence on America. In this paper I have tried to show that this is indeed true. The general legalization of marijuana would allow Americans to cultivate and use hemp to America’s great advantage. Billions of dollars would be saved in government expenditures and, in fact, revenue from taxation on the regulated sale of marijuana would be in the billions. Although the impact on a person’s health is debatable, the smoking of marijuana on a regular basis is most definitely not as harmful as smoking cigarettes daily or the excessive drinking of alcohol. Nobody has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Finally, and most obviously, marijuana for medical use would benefit many many different sick people with no other legal alternatives. Is there really any question? The time has come!!

 

 

 

______________________________________

 

FN1 As per the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, Schedule I drugs have a high tendency for abuse and have no accepted medical use. This schedule includes drugs such as Marijuana, Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, and GHB.

 

FN2 "Legalizing Hemp;" Author unknown. Nov 26, 2006, <http://www.studyworld.com/newsite/ReportEssay/SocialIssues/drug%5CLegalizing_Hemp-381653.htm>

 

FN3 "Hemp Facts;" Author unknown. Hemp Industries Association; Nov 26, 2006, <http://www.thehia.org/hempfacts.htm>

 

FN4 Mass Cann/Norml; "What You Should Know About Hemp;" Author unknown. Nov 26, 2006, <http://www.masscann.org/hemp/>

 

FN5 Biomass, in the energy production industry, refers to living and recently living biological material which can be used as fuel or for industrial production (Wikipedia; Biomass; Nov 26, 2006, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomass>)

 

FN6 Mass Cann/Norml supra.

 

FN7 Ibid.

 

FN8 Williams, Ted. "Legalize It!" Audubon. Nov 27, 2006. <http://magazine.audubon.org/incite/incite9911.html>

 

FN9 Whitebread, Charles, Professor of Law, USC Law School. "The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States." Transcript of a speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference. Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. Nov 25, 2006. <http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm>

 

FN10 Ibid.

 

FN11 Ibid.

 

FN12 Ibid.

 

FN13 History of Marihuana Legislation, "The Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, Chapter I. Control of Marihuana, Alcohol and Tobacco;" Nov 30, 2006. <http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/nc/nc2.htm>

 

FN14 Boggs Act, November 2, 1951: 767

 

FN15 21 USC 802(6) (1964)

 

FN16 "Controlled Substances Act;" Author unknown. Dec. 2, 2006. <http://www.upenn.edu/regulatoryaffairs/animal/Controlled%20Substances%20Act.doc>

 

FN17 "Milton Friedman, 500+ Economists Call for Marijuana Regulation Debate; New Report Projects $10-14 Billion Annual Savings and Revenues." Author unknown. Dec. 2, 2006. <http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/>

 

FN18 "NORML Releases Most Comprehensive Analysis Of US Marijuana Arrest Data To Date." March 11, 2005. Washington, DC, USA. Dec 3, 2006. <http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6476>

 

FN19 Aldrich, Michael, Ph.D., and Mikuriya, Tod, M.D., "Savings in California Marijuana Law Enforcement Costs Attributable to the Moscone Act of 1976—A Summary," Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Vol. 20(1), Jan.–March 1988; pp. 75-81.

 

FN20 Gieringer, Dale, Ph.D, Coordinator, California NORML; Marijuana Health Mythology; June, 1994. Dec 2, 2006. <http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/general/gier1.htm>

 

FN21 Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy on The LaGuardia Committee Report (1944). Dec 2, 2006. <http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/studies.htm>

 

FN22 "Health Reports." Updated Nov. 7, 2006. NORML. Dec. 2, 2006. <http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3471>

 

FN23 Kaufman, Marc. "Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection." The Washington Post. May 26, 2006. Page A03. Dec 2. 2006. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html>

 

FN24 California Health and Safety Code § 11362.5.

 

FN25 "Marijuana and Medicine, Assessing the Science Base." Institute of Medicine, Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health. Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A. Benson, Jr., Editors. <http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed/index.html>

 

FN26 Ibid.

 

FN27 Ibid.

 

FN28 "History and Uses of Marijuana." Author Unknown. Studyworld. Dec 4, 2006. <http://www.studyworld.com/newsite/ReportEssay/SocialIssues/drug%5CHistory_and_Uses_of_Marijuana-94.htm>

 

FN29 "Backgrounder: Marijuana Rescheduling." Author Unknown. Americans for Safe Access. Dec 4, 2006. <http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=2780>

 

FN30 Marijuana Rescheduling Petition. United States Department of Justice. Drug Enforcement Administration. Docket No. 86-22 -- September 6, 1988

 

FN31 "Backgrounder: Marijuana Rescheduling." Supra.

 

FN32 "Backgrounder: Marijuana Rescheduling." Supra.

 

FN33 "Marijuana: The Facts. Info for Medical Marijuana Litigators: Federalism Issues and the Necessity Defense." Drug Policy Alliance. Author Unknown. Dec 5, 2006. <http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/medical/challenges/litigators/legal/federalism/>

 

FN34 United States v. Randall, 104 Daily Wash.L.Rep. 2249 (Super.Ct.D.C. Nov. 24, 1976)

 

FN35 Ibid.

 

FN36 "Medical Necessity Defense." NORML. Dec 5, 2005. <http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3410>

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