Removal of Marijuana as a Schedule I Drug
The argument for or against the legalization of medical marijuana has been in existence for decades with no sign of resolution. Ever since Congress passed into law the Controlled Substance Act in 1970, placing marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the debate has grown ever larger, with feelings strengthening on both sides. Recently the argument for medical marijuana has come into the debate, with more and more evidence supporting it. People in support of keeping it illegal feel that the drug would cause much more harm than good. People in support of making the drug legal feel that the harm of marijuana is over exaggerated, and keeping the drug illegal is ...view middle of the document...
DEA. Web. 02 Dec. 2011.)
On October 9, 2002, former National Director of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Jon Gettman, along with The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) filled a petition to have cannabis rescheduled under federal law. The CRC is an association of public-interest groups, medical cannabis patients, and additional supporters including: the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, Americans for Safe Access, California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Iowans for Medical Marijuana, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
In the petition evidence is presented which states, “That marijuana had an accepted medical use in the United States, is safe for use under medical supervision, and has a lower potential for abuse than other Schedule I drugs such as heroin. By law, recognizing these characteristics requires the government to effectively end marijuana prohibition by moving cannabis into a different classification under the CSA in recognition of its accepted medical use and lower abuse potential” (Gettman).
The first line of the petition actually states, “The acceptance of cannabis’s medical use by eight states since 1996 and the experience of patients, doctors, and state officials in these states established marijuana’s accepted medical use in the United States” (Gettman). Just this small statement alone warrants the removal of marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Some voice a concern about marijuana’s effect on a person’s health.
Marijuana if used properly will have no adverse effects on a person’s body. One of the big arguments is the fact that marijuana smoke contains between 50%-100% more tar than an average cigarette thus increasing one’s chance of getting lung cancer or chronic bronchitis. There are, however, more methods to ingest THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) than just by smoking the traditional joint.
The first method, while similar to smoking, is nowhere near as dangerous. Vaporization is a technique for avoiding irritating respiratory toxins in marijuana smoke by heating cannabis to a temperature where the psychoactive ingredients evaporate without causing combustion. The combustion is the chemical process that creates the tar which then enters one’s lungs. The main suspect for lung cancer, being “polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons” ("Marijuana Vaporizer Health Benefits"), is also a byproduct of the combustion process. The vaporizer heats the marijuana to a temperate around 356° to 392° Fahrenheit, just below the temperature that will cause the marijuana to burn and release harmful smoke.
Another method is by ingesting the THC through goods made with a product called cannabis butter or cannabutter. THC is a hydrophobic oil, meaning it’s insoluble in water but soluble in lipids (oil/fat) and alcohol. In order for the cannabutter to be created the marijuana must first be heated to a sufficient point where dehydration occurs. This dehydration causes...