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Mary Jane

            The Legalization of Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes.
             The ongoing debate on whether marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes continues to be hotly contested. There are, of course, two distinct sides to any issue as vehemently argued as this, with both of them providing sound, if not compelling arguments. However, there would undoubtedly be a resoundingly positive influence from the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes that opponents cannot see their way to accepting, considering it such a radical approach.
             Budding adults -- those entering their freshman year at college who represent a large number of drug users, from mood-altering and over-the-counter drugs to excessive alcohol and tobacco have plenty to say on the subject, as well. From a survey that polled 350,000 students, over one-third agreed that marijuana for medicinal purposes should be legalized, but those same young adults were overwhelmingly supportive. Eight out of ten agreed that employers should have the right to test employees for on-the-job drug use (Woo, 1998; B-2). So, while the stream of consciousness is flowing a bit more conservatively where young people are concerned, their shift in attitude suggests a trend toward liberalism.
             In order to address the crisis, as it needs to be addressed, public attitude must "face up" (Redmoutain, 1997; A23) to the legalization medicinal drugs. The shift of public awareness towards the medicinal use of drugs that are proven to help people suffering from the ravages of cancer and other life-threatening, horrifically painful diseases is all too slow. Only those who comprehend the magnitude of such narrow-mindedness can truly speak out for the populace who so desperately require the illegal drugs.
             Frightening as the concept may be, there are several positive things that would come out of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. The fact that education and abuse treatment could be subsidized by the heavy taxes levied on the purchase is one convincing argument.

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