Marijuana Prohibition Is A Violation Of First Essay

Amendment Rights Essay, Research Paper

& # 8220 ; Let me inquire you something? if you had a pick, what would it be: Marijuana or Martinis? & # 8221 ; This inquiry appeared in the New York Times on Tuesday, May 12th, 1998. Due to the & # 8220 ; Marijuana Tax Act & # 8221 ; of 1937 the lone legal pick that you and the 18 million other grownups who used marihuana last twelvemonth can do is the martini ( & # 8221 ; Against Drug Prohibition & # 8221 ; nine ) . The legal credence of intoxicant, nevertheless, does non except it from the class of a & # 8220 ; drug, & # 8221 ; even in the eyes of the Food and Drug Administration. The prohibition of marihuana is historically counteractive and a direct rebelliousness of First Amendment rights. This prohibition has denied 1000s of critically sick patients a drug that would efficaciously handle their unwellness and alleviate their hurting. The footing upon which marihuana is prohibited has been proven by the very authorities which has banned the drug to be false.

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Since 1914, our state has externally protested against the usage of any & # 8220 ; drug, & # 8221 ; contrary to our past credence of the market. Before and during the Civil War, morphia ( a derived function of opium ) was implemented for it & # 8217 ; s anaesthetic qualities and was used as a chief ingredient in many medical specialties. Marijuana was besides implemented by the medical community in the intervention of megrim concerns, insomnia and rheumatism and cocaine to handle sinusitis, hay febrility, and chronic weariness. These drugs were non merely medicative, nevertheless, and they became popular for diversion, and cocaine, specifically became an ingredient in vinos and soft drinks, viz. Coca Cola ( Encarta, & # 8220 ; Cocaine & # 8221 ; ) .

Merely following the bend of the century, a new clime of moderation swept the state and in 1914 Congress passed the Harrison Act, censoring opiates and cocaine, and the prohibition of intoxicant shortly followed in 1918, doing the U.S. officially a & # 8220 ; dry & # 8221 ; state. This prohibition led to a rise in a black market trade of narcotics and intoxicant. In 1933, the prohibition on intoxicant was lifted due to an overpowering public concern with widespread organized offense, constabulary corruptness and force ( Encarta, & # 8220 ; Prohibition & # 8221 ; ) .

Much like the money spent on keeping the prohibition of intoxicant, since 1981, $ 150 million revenue enhancement dollars have been spent in the effort to forestall Colombian cocaine, Burmese heroine and Jamaican marihuana from come ining U.S. boundary lines. In visible radiation of this, grounds shows that for every ton of narcotics seized, 100s more prevail. Besides in relation to alcohol prohibition, those gaining most from America & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; War on Drugs & # 8221 ; are the organized offense barons, who make an estimated $ 10 to $ 50 billion dollars a twelvemonth from drug trade entirely ( More Reefer Madness, 15-25 ) .

Again, in concurrency with the prohibition of intoxicant, during the 1920s, moonshiners marketed little bottles of 100+ cogent evidence spiritss due to their ability to more easy hide them ( Encarta, & # 8220 ; Prohibition & # 8221 ; ) . Drug runners tend to transport and sell difficult drugs in highly powerful signifier ( i.e. cocaine ) for the same ground. The federal authorities besides controls the sum of nicotine and other additives in coffin nail and cigar fabrication, in an attempt to decrease their hazard to public wellness. The same maneuver could be used on marihuana.

The & # 8220 ; harmful & # 8221 ; effects of marijuana use are the figure one ground for it & # 8217 ; s limitation. These effects, nevertheless, are debatable. Equally early as 1972, President Nixon & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse & # 8221 ; concluded that, & # 8220 ; There is small proved danger of physical or psychological injury from the experimental or intermittent usage of natural readying of hemp, & # 8221 ; and recommended so that the personal and medical usage of marihuana be decriminalized. Since that clip, the NAS ( National Academy of Sciences ) Institute of Medicine, the Federation of American Sciences, the Australian Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health, the American Public Health Association, the British Medical Association, and the New England Journal of Medicine have produced surveies demoing that marihuana usage is non merely harmless, but that it is besides curative in the intervention of many serious complaints. Furthermore, marijuana has been proven to be less toxic and less expensive than conventional medicine and in many instances more effectual than commercially available drugs ( & # 8221 ; Against Drug Prohibition & # 8221 ; 13 ) .

It is in this that the prohibition of marihuana is most harmful to the American populace. Graham Boyd, an lawyer stand foring a group of complainants including 11 outstanding malignant neoplastic disease and AIDS doctors in San Francisco presented to a federal justice on Friday, April 11, 1997 the undermentioned statement:

& # 8220 ; The federal authorities has issued wide menaces against doctors who might urge marihuana to some of their seriously ill patients. These menaces have gagged doctors and have impended the responsible pattern of medical specialty. We assert that physicians have the right to discourse medical marihuana with patients, and we are seeking clear guidelines for doctors who wish to make so. & # 8221 ;

The case was filed January 14, hebdomads after several advisers of the Clinton Administration made a public response to Proposition 215 ( which would, were it to go through, do it legal for physicians to discourse and urge marihuana to their patients ) at a December 30 imperativeness conference. That response was that serious punishments may bef

all doctors who discuss marihuanas with their patients, including limited Medicare and Medicaid eligibility and even condemnable prosecution ( New England Journal of Medicine, August 1997 ) .

American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) Foundation of Northern California co-counsel Ann Brick said, & # 8220 ; This instance focuses straight on basic First Amendment rules, therefore the instance is non about whether the authorities should legalise the medical usage of marihuana. It is about whether the authorities may forestall physicians from supplying a patient with an honorable medical sentiment urging marijuana. & # 8221 ; ( ACLU )

Between 1978 and 1996, legislative assembly in 34 provinces and the District of Columbia passed Torahs acknowledging the medicative usage of marihuana and it & # 8217 ; s obvious curative value. NORML foremost raised this issue in 1972 in an administrative request inquiring that marihuana be moved from agenda I to schedule II of the federal Controlled Substances act, which would do it legal to be prescribed as a medical specialty. 16 old ages and many tribunal conflicts and entreaties subsequently, in 1988, the Drug Enforcement Agency & # 8217 ; s ain administrative jurisprudence justice, Judge Francis Young, concluded that,

& # 8220 ; Marijuana has been accepted as capable of alleviating hurt of great Numberss of really sick people, and making so with safety under medical supervising. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and freakish for the DEA to go on to stand between those sick persons and the benefits of this substance in visible radiation of the grounds [ late revealed ] . & # 8221 ;

The DEA Administrator, nevertheless, overruled Judge Young, and the Court of Appeals allowed that determination to stand, denying the medical usage of marihuana to earnestly ill patients. Representative Barney Frank ( a Democrat from Massachusetts ) introduced H.R. 1782, a measure which would besides try to travel medicative marihuana from agenda I to schedule II, extinguishing federal limitations. This measure would non alter province Torahs, leting single communities to find for themselves whether marihuana should be medicinally available ( New England Journal of Medicine, August 1997 ) .

It is a condemnable act of the U.S. authorities by it & # 8217 ; s ain pronunciamento, the Constitution, to do a personal behaviour a offense. A authorities that can non criminalize intoxicant or baccy can non, for the same grounds, deny the right to utilize marihuana. In 1857, in his celebrated essay & # 8220 ; On Liberty & # 8221 ; , John Stuart Mill, the British economic expert and philosopher, said, & # 8220 ; Over himself, over his ain head and organic structure, the person is sovereign. & # 8221 ;

Marijuana is the 3rd most popular drug in America, intoxicant and coffin nails ( nicotine ) foremost and 2nd severally, with about 10 million regular marihuana tobacco users in the United States entirely. The right to this personal freedom, and personal liberty ( what Mill called & # 8220 ; personal sovereignty & # 8221 ; ) , in the affairs of faith, political sentiment, gender, and other private, consensual activities are definitively protected under the First Amendment to the fundamental law. The National Academy of Sciences issued its determination that,

& # 8220 ; Over the last 40 old ages, marihuana has been accused of doing an array of anti-social effects including? provoking offense and force.. taking to heroin dependence? and destructing the American work ethic in immature people. [ These ] beliefs? have non been substantiated by scientific evidence. & # 8221 ;

Common myths, such as & # 8220 ; Marijuana is much more powerful now that it used to be, & # 8221 ; or & # 8220 ; Marijuana use causes encephalon harm, & # 8221 ; and even that & # 8220 ; Marijuana is a gateway drug to the usage of harder drugs, & # 8221 ; are now being disputed. In November of 1996, the Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think-tank in New York, published a 55-page book called, & # 8220 ; Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts. & # 8221 ; Written by John Morgan, M.D. and sociologist Lynn Zimmer, and truths were given to replace these fabrications. In world, the mean sum of THC ( the active ingredient of marihuana ) in government-seized marihuana was 3.32 per centum. In 1975, marijuana samples ranged from 2-14 per centum. Further, the claim that marihuana causes encephalon harm is based on a 20 twelvemonth old survey in which two Macaca mulatta monkeys were exposed to doses of THC up to 200 times the psychotropic dosage for worlds. This trial has ne’er been duplicated, and there is presently no grounds available which shows such consequences. It is true that most users of diacetylmorphine, cocaine, and LSD have used marihuana ( and even more have used baccy and intoxicant ) , but the bulk of marihuana users have ne’er tried any other illegal drug. In fact, as marijuana usage increased in the sixtiess and 1970s, the usage of diacetylmorphine greatly declined. ( New England Journal of Medicine, August 1997 )

All current surveies show that marihuana is a benign drug that International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t habit-forming nor does it do any important injury to even long term users. The myth that the drug is so harmful has really been a & # 8220 ; gateway & # 8221 ; for jurisprudence enforcement to prehend places, autos and other personal belongings. It allowed, in 1996, for 641,600 marihuana users to be arrested, 85 per centum of whom were caught simply for ownership ( ACLU ) . The myth besides allows day-to-day for 1000s of earnestly sick people to endure more than is necessary, from both their complaints and the inauspicious effects of expensive, toxic and ill effectual & # 8220 ; medical specialties & # 8221 ; . So, if you had to take between a martini and marihuana, would you take autonomies?