My name is Sam Shakespeare from Boca Raton (Florida). I am a strong supporter and advocate for medical marijuana. Families are being caused unnecessary harm by the disparity in laws throughout the country. Some Americans can freely engage in activities, while others go to jail and break up families.

Every day we learn more about marijuana. It was a breakthrough in the science of medical cannabis when the Endocannabinoid System of the human body was discovered. The Endocannabinoid System, a network of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the brain and central nerve system, only interacts with marijuana compounds.

Medical marijuana is proving to be a safe and effective way to treat AIDS, multiple sclerosis and pain.

Recent research…

The University of Nottingham has shown that certain compounds in cannabis can help reduce brain damage after a stroke.

Research by the National Cancer Institute has shown that cannabis can protect brain cells from certain types of brain cancers.

 

This one is more science-y than it sounds, but a National Institute of Health study found that marijuana may be a way to resuscitate cardiac arrest victims.

Cannabis has been used for medical purposes in the human race for thousands of years. Not one death has been linked to it. Because there is no lethal dose, marijuana is a safer and more effective option to treat a wide range of diseases and ailments. Medical marijuana can be used to replace certain prescription drugs that have dangerous side effects such as accidental death due overdose. However, these top shelf bc prescription drugs are still legal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that drug overdoses caused more deaths in 2014 than any other year. Prescription opioids and pain pills are the most common cause of overdoses (OxyContin, Percocet). Hydrocodone, etc.) The number of opioid overdoses has quadrupled since 1999. Prescription opioids have increased by nearly fourfold in the US since 1999. Medical marijuana could have prevented many of these “pain pill” deaths. Overdoses of prescribed pain pills led to the deaths of more than 14,000 people in 2014.

The real tragedy with medical marijuana is the United States War on Drugs. It has allowed the federal, various state, and local governments to take up military arms in the name of its citizens. This has allowed the militarization across the country of police forces. We are the Land of the Free and we imprison more of our citizens than any other country. The United States of America is home to about 2% of the global population. However, it houses 25% of the prison population worldwide. Most of these are nonviolent drug offenders. More than 50% of these were for marijuana offenses. This means that marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drug arrests in America. Of the 8.2million marijuana arrests made between 2001 and 2010, 80% were simply for possessing marijuana.

The US taxpayer is footing the bill. Drugpolicy.org estimates that the US War on Drugs costs the taxpayer more than $51 billion each year. It currently costs more than $30,000 to jail one person for a year.

If the war against drugs were working, then it would make drugs less common, driving up prices. The reality is that drug prices have remained relatively constant over the last 20 years. This shows that the War on Drugs had virtually no impact on the illegal drug market. Only the War on Drugs has succeeded in arresting and locking up our citizens at an alarming pace. Legalizing illegal drugs is the only way to eliminate them. This is how certain states are already adapting and increasing their tax revenues by millions and even millions every year. Their citizens are experiencing true freedom.

Some of our citizens enjoy freedom while others are arrested for possessing marijuana. They may lose their job, lose public benefits, or lose education funding. Even worse, they may end up in jail separated from their families and children. How does this affect the family and their children? This law is ill-conceived and these children are being left behind. Over 50% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. It is time to legalize marijuana and stop arresting law-abiding citizens who choose a herb that is safer than any other. We know alcohol kills more than 600,000. Cigarettes kill over 1,000,000 people each year. It is important to remember that marijuana has not been linked to any one death. Yet, authorities claim that they need more data. We already have thousands of years worth of data. It is fascinating to me that we weren’t more cautious about cigarettes and alcohol.

These are just a few of the many reasons that Sam Shakespeare of Boca Raton Florida remains a strong advocate of legalizing medical marijuana for everyone. Individual freedom is a fundamental right.

 

Anita Wagner

She loves history and has a PhD in History and Antopology. Loves to dig up a past.

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