Pros and Cons of Legalizing Cannabis

Pros and Cons of Legalizing CannabisTask: ?Cannabis should be legalised? clearly discuss the points for (pros) and against (cons). you should also show where your sympathies lie" Walking along a packed street in a major city in Britain, almost everyone is smoking; the stench of hash, weed, dope-yes cannabis, is swirling around the street. Would this be the reality if cannabis were to be legalised? We are already used to the smell of tobacco and the everyday reality of it. Would it be any different if cannabis were legalised? The legalisation of cannabis is a subject about which people hold very strongly contrasting views. In my opinion, cannabis should be legalised as a form of treatment to provide relief from man debilitating conditions. According to many people, cannabis holds many medical and recreational benefits. It is said that cannabis can be a successful treatment for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
The condition can lead to muscle stiffness and spasms, pain, fatigue and tremors. IN a study conducted at Plymouth University (using 600 MS sufferers) half were placed on a cannabis based treatment and the other o a different more conventional treatment. More than two thirds of sufferers using cannabis reported significant benefits. Many reported they had improved mobility and many of their other symptoms improved. However, recently there have been many articles published which show that cannabis can have an adverse effect on patients with multiple sclerosis. In a study at Maryland University, it was shown that cannabis might also worsen balance and posture in MS patients with tremors. Cannabis, it has been shown, is less dangerous and much less addictive than cigarettes. It generally has less toxins and additives present in it than cigarettes, which have many more, making them much more addictive. Although some scientists have proven that cannabis is less harmful than cigarettes, another study shows that over a prolonged period of time, three to four joints a day can have the same effect as twenty cigarettes. Cannabis if used for a long time can cause wheezing from severe lung damage as it deposits four times more tar in the lungs than an unfiltered cigarette. Cannabis joints have 50% more carcinogens than cigarettes. This means that if they are smoked then they cause the recipient to have an ever higher risk of cancer than if they smoked the same amount of cigarettes over a prolonged period. It has been recently discovered that cannabis can be used to treat potentially fatal brain tumours. Many people are left with no alternative treatment, other than intensive radiotherapy, which has many severe and debilitating side effects. Cannabis, it has been shown can be used in two ways to treat cancer. The first has only been in trial using rats. However, the results showed that, in the rats treated with cannabis, the tumours were destroyed in one third of the rats and the life of another third was prolonged for up to six weeks. The second way in which cannabis can be used in cancer treatment is to ease and reverse the symptoms of chemotherapy. The drug can prevent nausea and other adverse reactions to the chemotherapy. Cannabis in cancer treatment is however mostly untested and has over 400active ingredients many of which have undiscovered and unpredictable side effects. If, as it has been said, by the former drugs expert to the government, cannabis leads to the use of harder and more dangerous drugs, then not only should cannabis remain illegal but cherry, cider and all other alcohol should be made illegal. It may sound unusual but if cannabis (a soft drug) can lead to drug abuse, then a low concentration alcohol like cider can lead to alcoholism. So if this is the principle on which the government bases the argument to keep cannabis illegal, then to keep consistency they should re-write all of the laws concerning alcohol to make it completely illegal. Drugs and alcohol cause many of the same effects in people and so there for, laws concerning one should be consistent with the other. Keith Hellawell (the former government drugs expert) described cannabis as a ?gateway drug?; he believes it leads to the miss use of harder substances. However, the statistics show that many young people under the age of 25 have tried cannabis (approximately 20%) and the percentage who go on to use harder drugs such as heroin is very small (less than 2%). This shows that the argument that cannabis use leads to the use of harder drugs is unfounded. I believe that cannabis should be legalised. I have shown that in has many medical values and I believe that people should not be punished for using cannabis to relieve pain from debilitating conditions. However, the medical values are not without unpredictable side effects and I believe a lot more research into the medicinal use of cannabis is needed. The topic of the legalisation of cannabis will continue to be an area of debate until scientists are able to agree on the medical uses and possible side effect of cannabis.

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