Legalizing Marijuana Essay Example

Research Paper on Legalizing Marijuana

Introduction

Nowadays medical and cultural aspects united with each other due to heated discussions dedicated to the use of medical marijuana. Although the use of cannabis is forbidden by the federal law, approximate statistics states that 15% of Americans have experienced its effects. However, researchers state that medical marijuana can have both negative and positive effects on human body. Among negative effects one can find the damage to the immune system, whereas positive aspect always presumes alternative forms of medication. Whenever fatally sick patients suffer from nausea, pain in various organs and reflect psychotic behavior, medical marijuana is prescribed.

However, federal government does not approve the drug for a regular use, but some states possibly will change the situation. However, one rule is definite – medical marijuana must be severely controlled by the federal laws. If you were assigned a task to write a research paper on medical marijuana, please realize that you will have to conduct a deep research for you main arguments. If you think that academic writing is your biggest flaw, do not hesitate to contact us right now and we will find the most suitable writer for your paper.

Medical marijuana can be effective for certain types of patients. Some case studies presented below state that marijuana is always used for the treatment of psychotic behavior among the young individuals. There is some evidence that various doctors support the usage of medical marijuana in certain cases under strict control of medical professionals as it is the most effective treatment. However, other doctors disprove the generally accepted concept that medical marijuana helps to the patients with fatal diseases. However, some research data cannot be disproved that medical marijuana mostly has positive effect on patients when conventional medicine does not reflect successful treatment. Whenever traditional medicine cannot cure patients with severe pain, medical marijuana can be the most effective pain killer. Nevertheless, the use of medical marijuana must be controlled by the federal laws in order to avoid possible misdemeanor cases.

The problem of legalizing marijuana causes a substantial controversy in the American society. There are different opinions regarding this issue. Some people believe that legalization of marijuana will create numerous problems both for its users and society in general. They propose to prohibit it in order to create additional difficulties for its potential users. As a result, they hope to reduce its consumption and contribute to a more peaceful and healthy development of society.

Another group of people stress that consumption of marijuana cannot be eliminated through any artificial government or other restrictions. As long as the demand for cannabis exists, consumers will use it. The question is under what conditions and in what institutional and legal environment, they will use it. If marijuana is prohibited, the black market will emerge. Consequently, the prices for cannabis will be much higher. If cannabis is illegal, its quality will diminish due the lack of objective control that will create additional risks for consumers. Thus, social health will substantially decrease rather than increase. Moreover, prohibition of marijuana use may lead not only to the emergence of the black market but to the criminalization of the whole industry. It will have a negative impact on all other social spheres as well.

One more important aspect is individual rights. The US society is built on the ideas of individual liberties and rights. Each individual has the right to act in accordance with his/her preferences as far as he/she does not violate the rights of other members of the society. Some people may not share the basic life principles of others, but it cannot justify any their attempts to impose their will on others. Therefore, marijuana should be legalized. There is no other alternative to the further development of the US society.

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Negative Side of Medical Marijuana

The use of medical marijuana must be thoroughly monitored as it can cause strong addiction among individuals. Some researchers state that such addiction can be caused according to the neurological bases. The users of cannabis suffer from addiction as certain brain parts are affected on the dopamine levels. In addition, according to researchers, the use of medical marijuana may add some risk to the cancer progress. Therefore, people are against frequent prescription of this remedy and offer severe regulations that must be introduced by the government.  Other researches by Shafer and Redda state that one should pay attention to the impact on society from the use of medical marijuana. Usually marijuana is associated with the drug abuse and may have drastic impact on society in general. Therefore, any cases of misuse of medical marijuana must be punished according to the laws to monitor the current state of addition. There must be certain restrictions for the use of marijuana, whereas every case of its usage must be documented and registered so that government will know about all patients that were prescribed to this unconventional medicine. Moreover, doctors must have clear guidelines to detect whether patients must be prescribed medical marijuana or not and predict possible outcomes of such usage.

Analysis

  • First of all, it is necessary to examine the most widespread arguments against the legalization of marijuana and critically evaluate them. The first argument is that legalizing drugs may increase both the direct consumption of marijuana and affect the incentive structure of future generations encouraging them to use marijuana.
    However, the legalization of marijuana does not directly influence the demand for it. The real logical chain is opposite. The existing demand for cannabis causes its supply, and the most civilized environment for it is its legalization. Thus, the only incentive structure that is really changed is that of producers. As their risks increase, they will charge higher prices. Moreover, potential criminals will more likely to participate in this business. Thus, the real consequences of prohibition will be very different from the initial intentions.
  • The second argument is that the use of such drugs as marijuana may lead to the use of hard drugs . These relationships are not necessarily correct. From a statistical point of view, the percentage of hard drug users is higher among those who used soft drugs before in comparison with non-users. However, it does not mean that the use of soft drugs necessarily leads to the adoption of hard drugs. It is also possible that some people facing the illegal nature of both soft and hard drugs will decide to use hard drugs from the very beginning. Even if the idea of subsequent adoption of harder drugs is accepted for the sake of argument, it cannot justify a government intervention into people’s choices about their lives and consumption habits. Individual liberties cannot be sacrificed on the basis that some government officials do not share the dominant values of some groups of society.
  • The third argument is that the use of marijuana can create problems not only for its user but for other members of society . In particular, it increases violence and healthcare costs. However, this argument is also incorrect for several reasons. First, people cannot be punished on the grounds that they may potentially commit crimes. Only the objectively fact of violence or aggression can be punished. Otherwise, all people may be imprisoned as all of them can (theoretically) commit crimes in the future. The implicit assumptions of this argument directly contradict the principles of a free society. Increasing healthcare costs should be covered by those people who demand additional services and should not be financed from additional taxes.
  • The fourth argument states that as marijuana is addictive, it negatively affects users’ abilities to think rationally. This statement is partially correct as logical abilities of marijuana users may be affected. In any case, at the moment of the initial marijuana use, the decision of a given individual is rational, i.e. it is based on his/her choice of the optimal alternative according to his/her preferences. Moreover, other people are free to express their concerns or make recommendations if they wish. The only thing they cannot do is to use force in order to prohibit the use of marijuana if a given individual chooses to consume it.
  • The final argument is that a government should not participate in any activities that harm health of its citizens. It seems that a government should concentrate on the protection of its citizens from both internal and external aggression. As the use of marijuana per se does constitute any form of violence, a government should not prohibit it due to potentially harmful consequences. People should be free to make their choices about their health, and a government should protect their choices, but not aggress against them.

In general, the experience of those countries and states that legalized marijuana clearly shows that this practice is mostly beneficial for a society from various perspectives. It increases neither the general crime rates nor any additional dangerous factors. On the contrary, people have a free access to marijuana and can satisfy their demand without any difficulties. Thus, their attitude towards other members of a society is peaceful. When marijuana is legal, its quality is in accordance with consumer preferences, and corresponding risks for health are lower.

Moreover, the empirical facts demonstrate that positive results are achieved all over the world: both in Europe (the Netherlands is the most traditional example) and America (especially in Colorado and Washington). The explanation of such positive effects is clear. The legalization of marijuana allows producing and distributing it on the same basis as other market goods. Under the influence of competition, producers and entrepreneurs have to constantly adjust their market supply to the dominant consumer needs. Consequently, the quality of marijuana tends to increase, and its prices tend to decline. It is beneficial for all parties involved. Consumers are directly benefited from a higher quality and lower prices. Producers are benefited because the quantity demanded is higher than otherwise, and they have precise “rules of the game”. Third parties may also benefit because marijuana users may satisfy their demand with lower amounts of funds. Consequently, they may spend their money stimulating other producers. Finally, a safer environment is also beneficial for all people.

The use of marijuana for medical purposes is supported by many experts.

They recognize that any strict prohibitions in this field will directly negatively affect the whole system of social relationships and health of many people. Therefore, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is often considered justifiable. This position is correct because healthcare professionals should have an opportunity to use those means and techniques they consider optimal in each particular case. The abolition of restrictions may improve the long-term effects on people’s health.
At the same time, the principles that are generally recognized in the medical sphere should be extended to other areas as well. It seems that even the concept of health has both objective and subjective elements. The majority of opponents of marijuana legalization typically concentrate exclusively on the objective part (life expectancy, biological and chemical reactions, etc). However, human beings are much more complex systems that a mere collection of biological or chemical functions. People use reason and their emotions in order to guide their actions. Thus, they subjectively appraise the expected benefits or losses of different substances for their health. The fact that many people decide to use marijuana do not mean that they do not understand its long-term effects or that they are not rational enough to evaluate the whole situations. It merely means that they value marijuana consumption higher than some negative objective results. Therefore, it may be claimed that marijuana is useful rather than harmful for the health of these people. Thus, a large number of traditional medical arguments against the legalization of marijuana are only partially correct.

A closer examination of the problem shows that there is no evident of third party harm in the case of marijuana use. The consumption of marijuana per se affects only health of users. If a given user commits some aggressive actions in relation to others, he/she should be correspondingly punished. However, it relates to all criminals regardless of whether they use marijuana or not. The degree of violation of other people’s rights determines the punishment that should follow. Therefore, it is unreasonable to concentrate on the interests of third parties, in this case. It is necessary to examine the direct outcomes of interactions of various individuals. If their actions do not contain any aggression or threats against other people or their property, a government should not participate in this process and introduce any restrictions.

Another area of focus is the impact of marijuana on children and the optimal policy in this field. It is obvious that children cannot rationally perceive the whole situation. However, it does not mean that a government should be involved and control all or some spheres of their lives. The whole responsibility for their children lay on their parents, and they should determine consumption habits of their children until they become able to rationally make their own decisions. Parents should feel the corresponding level of responsibility. If they believe that government officials should also participate in this process, their behavior becomes less responsible, and additional risks for their children may emerge. In other words, marijuana prohibition cannot improve the situation in this sphere.

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The legalization of marijuana may allow creating a complex legal environment that will protect the interests of all parties. If the use of marijuana is illegal, the rights of consumers are unprotected. Marijuana producers understand that they are not under a close public control and may behave irresponsibly. In other words, they may try to decrease the quality of marijuana in order to obtain higher profits. They do not care about the effect of consumers’ health because they enjoy almost monopolistic privileges, and consumers do not have any other alternatives. If the legalization of cannabis is adopted, producers will have to change their attitude. They will experience a permanent pressure from other producers as their number will increase due to an open access to this market segment.

As a result, all relationships between parties may be better regulated. Producers will have to guarantee the quality of their products. Consequently, consumers will have an opportunity to demand restitution if producers violate their contract obligations. At the same time, the developed legal environment will be beneficial for responsible producers. They will be able to establish their market reputation and expand their market share. This market selection process is impossible if the good under consideration is prohibited. Those companies that wish to operate illegally will have to shift to the black market, and the complete criminalization of the industry may emerge.

The legalization of marijuana will also be beneficial for a government. In this case, it will be possible to collect taxes and perform its basic functions more effectively. A government may increase its revenues and decrease the overall budget deficit. It may have a positive impact on the financial state of a country. Other things being equal, it is possible to reduce other taxes without the negative effect on government revenues. Moreover, the general structure of the national economy may be optimized. Therefore, there is no conflict of interests between private and public sectors in relation to the legalization of cannabis.

The current War of Drugs presents a serious threat to traditional American values and the state of the national economy. The US government is involved in this process declaring its devotion to promoting the public good. At the same time, the interests of a large number of people are harmed. First, marijuana users are subject to discrimination only because the government officials do not share their choice. Second, responsible producers cannot enter this market because they are excluded from the market by the government . Third, some categories of people constitute the permanent underclass without any considerable social opportunities . They can access neither education nor adequate healthcare. Therefore, crime rates may remain very high within this group.

Moreover, the War on Drugs is very costly to American taxpayers.

If marijuana was legalized throughout the country, the government could collect taxes and reduce the general tax burden. At the present moment, the government not only does not collect any taxes from marijuana producers (as its use and distribution are illegal), but imposes additional taxes on people for financing its anti-drug initiatives. As a result, the current tax burden is very unfair. Ordinary taxpayers have to finance inefficient government policies.

It is evident that the government cannot solve this problem because it cannot affect its main cause – the demand for marijuana and other drugs. As long as this demand exists, it will create incentives for entrepreneurs to satisfy it. The only difference is the institutional environment that exists . Under the traditional legal environment, the interests of all parties are taken into account and well-balanced. Under the conditions of artificial restrictions and prohibitions, the demand is only partially satisfied, the prices are extremely high, and the interests of consumers are systematically violated.

Therefore, the government involvement in this process cannot improve the situation even from a pure theoretical point of view. All government initiatives are financed either through taxes or through inflation. In any case, ordinary citizens have to actually pay for all these initiatives. Thus, the government restricts the rights of people to use marijuana although it contradicts the fundamental principles of individual liberty exposed in the US Constitution . Moreover, it tries to achieve this purpose through imposing additional taxes on the rest of the population .

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Therefore, the entire system created by the current War on Drugs is fundamentally unfair and unjust.

In order to solve these problems, citizens’ basic individual liberties and rights should be respected. The government should recognize people’s right to make choices about their own lives and health. If their choices do not represent the acts of direct aggression against others, they should not experience any prohibitions from the government. Taking into account all abovementioned considerations, it is reasonable to abolish all current practices and measures associated with the War of Drugs . The first step is the legalization of marijuana. There are two ways of achieving this purpose. The first one is through initiatives at the federal level. The second one is through nullification of the current drug laws at the level of specific states. Colorado and Washington are successful in demonstrating that it may be realized under current conditions . Thus, the second option seems even more realistic under current conditions.
The principles of a democratic society require a high level of tolerance and respect to other people’s rights. The empirical reality is such that all people are different. As a result, some choices of others seem to not be well-grounded or even irrational. A government may use such public temptations to impose the majority’s will on the minority and increase the overall government power. However, this tendency is very dangerous. It threatens the essence of a democratic society and principles of peaceful cooperation among people. As everyone may constitute a minority in some situations, everyone may be coerced.

Therefore, the recognition of other people’s rights is important not only at some abstract level but also from an individual’s direct self-interest. All other rights cannot be effectively enforced if human rights regarding their consumption habits are not recognized. Therefore, the question of marijuana legalization is especially relevant nowadays. The adequate solution of this problem will both contribute to the development of society in general and the recognition of individuals’ rights and needs.

Conclusion

Although the issue of potential marijuana legalization causes much controversy among the US public, an objective analysis demonstrates that the legalization of marijuana is the only correct decision that should be made. It will allow harmonizing the interests of all parties. Consumers will enjoy lower prices and higher quality of marijuana. Moreover, they will be able to control quality and differentiate among producers choosing the most reliable ones. Efficient producers will be able to increase their revenues and operate in the legal environment. The government can obtain additional taxes and reduce its budget deficit. The rest of the population may also experience some positive effects because the overall tax burden will decline. Moreover, the social environment will become safer. Numerous empirical examples from different regions of the world show that the legalization of marijuana always leads to socially positive results decreasing crime rates and leading to other positive long-term effects. Therefore, the legalization of cannabis is both a desirable and practical initiative.

The practical steps towards this goal include the abolition of the War on Drugs and establishing equal rights for all US citizens. The current legal norms may be revised either at the federal level or through initiatives of specific states. The second option is even more attractive in the 21st century. However, the most important reason for marijuana legalization is the respect to inalienable people’s rights regarding their consumption habits. If people do not initiate aggression against other members of society, the government and other institutions should not interfere with their actions. This is the foundation of a free society. The legalization of marijuana is an important step towards the complete realization of democratic principles in the US and other countries of the world.

Annotated Bibliography on Legalizing Medical Marijuana

If you are a freshman, you may not be familiar with what annotated bibliography presumes. The generally accepted rules state that annotated bibliography is a usual writing task which entails the enumeration of all sources that will be utilized the research paper according to their relevance to the discussion of the topic. It is not that easy to write annotated bibliography on the legalization of marijuana. Therefore, if you need any kind of writing assistance, do not hesitate to contact us as we employ the most diligent writers to work on your annotated bibliography. Whenever you decide to write your brand new annotated bibliography, do not forget that you have to list all sources and analyze their content indicating their central arguments. Moreover, in order to get good grade in your project, you have to select only credible sources, not random websites with anonymous articles on your topic.

Here is just an example on how to write annotated bibliography:

Shafer, Raymond. Marijuana – United States Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Washington DC: U.S. Government, 1972. Print.

It is a widely known governmental publication that offers explicit information about the use of medical marijuana. The first claim that reader might come across is that the usage of marijuana has drastically negative effects on our health and well-being in general. Moreover, it causes nothing more than negative behavior among individuals who have become cannabis addicts. Moreover, usually marijuana addicts are common students who skip classes and transform their way of conduct. However, the research findings presented in the publication have sustained numerous changes since much has changed from 1970. Therefore, students are able to compare the results and findings of this author with the abovementioned researchers.

Huba, George. Assessing Marijuana Consequences: Selected Questionnaire Items. Rockville: Public Health Service, 1981. Print.

Huba offered the documentation of various protocols that were gathered during the research of the topic. The book was published by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. In order to obtain the whole picture of effects of medical marijuana use, researchers must dedicate much their attention to the surveys, questionnaires and fill in the blanks tests that will help to get the needed data about the influences and impacts of marijuana usage.  Although ordinary people will show their reflection of the problem, this research will be indeed useful while conducting medical research. Medical research has to be closely related with the sociological research regarding legalizing marijuana.

O’Brien, Kevin, and Peter Clark. “Case Study: Mother and Son: The Case of Medical Marijuana.” The Hastings Center Report 32.5 (2002): 11-13. Web. 9 Apr. 2011.

The author of the case study reflected on the hilarious case that approves the use of medical marijuana. O’Brien described mother who used to quarrel with her son DD, the main subject of the issue. In order to help her child become socially active and adapt to societal requirements, mother conducted experiments with different forms of treatment. All traditional psychoanalytic sessions did not help and mother even tried a great deal of drugs in attempt to decrease the cases of violent behavior. The most hilarious in this case that when mother gave medical marijuana to her son, DD behavior completely changed. There were no more occasions with violent behavior, whereas DD got acquainted with new friends as if he was given a new lease of life. Moreover, he helped his classmates with home assignments. However, court decided to take DD our of mother’s custody for such act of misbehavior and law disobedience. Nevertheless, this case study is very cognitive for those who would like to promote the use of medical marijuana in a more anecdotal voice.

Grinspoon, Lester. “Marijuana Addiction.” Science, New Series 277.5327 (1997): 749-752. JSTOR. Web. 9 Apr. 2011.

The author of the article wrote about marijuana addiction through the lens of neuroscience. Lester Grinspoon presented vivid and profound scientific data against the legalization of marijuana, which mostly causes nothing more than addiction. Author mentions about the connection of brain with THC, whereas our brain does not have a reward center. Thus, marijuana causes addition among its users. The author shows specific examples on how this reward center works and presents its possible implications. Therefore, the topic of legalizing marijuana is presented from a completely different perspective. If you do not know how to write down all your ideas in annotated bibliography, please ask our diligent and talented writers to do it for you.

Goode, Erich. “Marijuana and the Politics of Reality.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 10.2 (1969): 83-94. JSTOR. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.

In comparison to the abovementioned discussion of legalizing marijuana in the medical context, Erich Goode discusses the topic in relation to the political aspect. The author claims that some politicians make anecdotal claims about medical marijuana misusage, which do not have any scientific evidence. Moreover, it is hard to define the “reality” of heated discussions dedicated to the legalizing of marijuana. Moreover, writer disproved some historically used notions that fight against the legalization of marijuana. Therefore, the article of Goode is very cognitive for those who promote legalization of medical marijuana, supported with relevant historical and political details on the topic.

ProCon.org. “Should Marijuana be a Medical Option?” ProCon.org. N.p., 31 Aug. 2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2011.

This article is very useful for those students who would like to present both advantages and drawbacks of legalizing medical marijuana and its usage among patients and common people. One may find numerous reviews of physicians from various scientific fields on the use of medical marijuana. While promoting the use of cannabis, many doctors stated that it is indeed helpful and makes and indispensible element of the alternative treatment. Moreover, other drugs do not show such high efficiency rates in comparison to medical marijuana. Moreover, most physicians that participated in the research claim that this kind of treatment does not impact human health in a negative way, even of patients use medical marijuana on a permanent basis. Therefore, if students have not made their mind yet whether medical marijuana should be used or not, this is exactly the source to find all pros and cons and discuss the topic with more scientific details.

Redda, Kinfe. Cocaine, Marijuana, Designer Drugs: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Behavior. 1989. Reprint. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2000. Print.

One more perspective has not been discussed – pharmacological. Redda Kinfe discusses the use of medical marijuana from a pharmacological perspective and provides vivid evidence on how it influences most of human organs, general behavior and brain in particular. Author gives explicit details on all processes that occur and are distorted in brain after marijuana usage. If you would like to disprove the use of medical marijuana based on the pharmacological standpoint, it is exactly the article you need to incorporate in your research paper. If you do not know how to utilize evidence in your paper to support your claims, our custom essay writers are ready to assist you right now.

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Sydney, Stephen, Charles Quesenberry, Gary Friedman, and Irene Tekawa. “Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States).” Cancer Causes & Control 8.5 (1997): 722-728. JSTOR. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.

The article is very cognitive as it offers the links between the patients with cancer and usage of medical marijuana. Research conducted by the authors is more than deep and profound as approximately 65,000 citizens of California with different types of cancer took part in the experiment. All of them were exposed to the daily usage of marijuana. Moreover, researchers paid much to other influences such as alcohol consumption and smoking among respondents. However, researchers came to conclusion – people smoking marijuana believe to be exposed to a bigger risk of having cancer than ordinary citizens. If you would like to analyze the legalization of cannabis from a perspective of health conditions, this article must be taken into consideration.

Peterson, Robert. “Health Implications of Marijuana Use: A Review.” The American Biology Teacher 41.9 (1979): 526-529. JSTOR. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.

The author of the article discusses how fast medical marijuana transforms from the societal fad into the special treatment of patients with fatal and complex diseases. There are numerous facts that disprove the usage of medical marijuana on the societal level that are based on the cultural flaws. However, the aspect of legalizing marijuana must be discussed according to such categories as sex, health, demographics, etc. Moreover, the article of Peterson Robert deeply discusses how marijuana affects the motor skills, work of all organs, especially brain. Therefore, if one desires to promote or disprove the usage of medical marijuana, article by Peterson will be highly beneficial for its presented data obtained from numerous researches. However, if you believe that you cannot effectively cover the topic of medical marijuana usage and its consequences, we offer you to buy a research paper from us right now and make your life easier.

Shohov, Tatiana. Medical Use of Marijuana: Policy, Regulatory, and Legal Issues. New York City: Nova Science Publishing, 2003. Print.

It is the article which emphasizes on the importance of discussion marijuana usage from a historical perspective. Shohov presents much statistical data for readers’ comprehension, e.g. how many US citizens used to be marijuana addicts in relation to the federal laws. Moreover, author mentions about historical analysis of occasions when medical marijuana can be used and when it must be completely restricted. Moreover, Tatiana Shohov compared the recreational and medical usage of cannabis and its adverse effects. Nevertheless, readers of the book will not find any hints on whether medical marijuana should be legalized or not. The author simply presented the key details on the topic, excluding personal opinions. Therefore, if your task is to write a literature review or present background information on whether legalizing marijuana must be approved or not, the study of Tatiana Shohov will be suitable for your piece of writing.

Clark, Peter. “The Ethics of Medical Marijuana: Government Restrictions vs. Medical Necessity.” Journal of Public Health Policy 21.1 (2000): 40-60. JSTOR. Web. 28 Mar. 2011.

The author of the article dedicates much to the discussion of legalization of medical marijuana. In the beginning of discussion, Clark provides historical facts on the use of medical marijuana and its legal aspect. Clark mentions fact of the use of medical marijuana by various physicians in their practice, which were exposed to different studies. The author paid much attention to every case and the voting process among ordinary individuals. Clark mentions various cases about people against federal restrictions on the marijuana use. Clark states that this alternative form of medicine is highly effective for a number of cases, which means that government should be more loyal to the laws restricting use of medical marijuana.

Judging from the abovementioned, it is clear that it might be challenging to write a research paper on the legalization of medical marijuana due to various perspectives that exist in modern discussion. Therefore, why to spend days and nights on research if QualityCustomEssays.com is eager to assist you? We will gladly help you with academic research, simply place an order online and wait for your paper!