Title of Article: Carroll: Marijuana Case a Gross Injustice - Essay Example

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Marijuana has a long history of proven medicinal use to treat certain ailments like nausea and to help reduce intra-ocular pressure (IOP) that is the primary cause of glaucoma. …
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Title of Article: Carroll: Marijuana Case a Gross Injustice
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of Article: Carroll: Marijuana Case a Gross Injustice 816 Acoma St APT#805 Denver, CO 80204 November 04, The Open Forum The Denver Post
101-W. Colfax Ave., Suite 600
Denver, CO 80202
The Editor:
Marijuana has a long history of proven medicinal use to treat certain ailments like nausea and to help reduce intra-ocular pressure (IOP) that is the primary cause of glaucoma. In many countries like India, Jamaica and in most of Africa, marijuana is used as analgesic (pain reliever) and part of the herbal and complementary medical practices of the peoples in those countries. In the United States, advocates for the legalization of its possession and use for medicinal purposes say it is approved in 14 states. Federal law classifies it as a Schedule I non-narcotic controlled drug under Drug Enforcement Administration #7360. The medical studies done on marijuana show no lasting ill effects except perhaps short-term memory losses while still under its influence. Unlike use of alcohol or tobacco, marijuana does not cause any serious ailments such as cancer, birth defects, liver damage, emphysema or hypertension.
It is therefore very surprising and disheartening to hear that Christopher Bartkowicz had been arrested for marijuana possession and is facing the real prospect of a very long jail term if convicted. I totally agree with Vincent Carroll in saying the proposed minimum of 60 years’ incarceration and possibly a life behind bars is a perfect case of gross injustice (Marijuana Case a Gross Injustice in 22 Sept. 2010 issue). This is a clear outrage and people must speak up for their right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Colorado allowed its use strictly for medical applications and Bartkowicz must be allowed to use this defense during his trial to perhaps reduce his sentence if ever he is convicted. The punishment must fit the crime and his two prior convictions must not be considered when imposing a sentence. In this case, the punishment is grossly disproportionate when considering that many people in Colorado had abused Amendment 20 to procure, buy and use marijuana by registering as marijuana patients and caregivers although they were not medically qualified. It simply does not make sense to single out one individual but let many others get away with the same crime as Mr. Bartkowics stands accused of.
Mr. Carroll mentioned that Bartkowicz was previously found guilty of operating within a thousand feet from a school. Mr. Bartkowicz may be guilty only by degree as he was found to be in possession of 200-plus marijuana plants far in excess of what are needed for his twelve patients. More people are beginning to see the positive uses of marijuana although some view marijuana as possibly addictive and cause people to commit heavy crimes like assault, rape or murder. People opposed to marijuana had exaggerated those few cases and sensationalized them in the newspapers. Use of marijuana does not induce violent behavior in people nor cause damage to the immune system or any long-term brain damage as its critics claim. Its only effect is lethargy and nothing more. The very basis of the Federal law in prohibiting marijuana by comparing it to dangerous weapons is also totally wrong. The nicotine in tobacco is even more addictive but tobacco is not classified as illegal.
Sincerely yours and best regards,
Mohammed Al-Temimi
To: Professor Lisa Spears
From: Mohammed Al-Temimi
Date: November 04, 2010
Re: Letter to the Editor of The Denver Post (Marijuana Case a Gross Injustice: 22 September 2010 issue)
My main argument is that marijuana use is completely safe but Federal law classifies it as under Schedule I of controlled substances (meaning it has no known medicinal use). In this regard, the arrest of Mr. Bartkowicz is a miscarriage of justice as many states recognize the medicinal uses of marijuana but still Federal law has not changed to keep up with the times. Colorado allows controlled use under Amendment 20 and most Coloradoans took advantage of this state law by applying as either patients or caregivers who need marijuana and many had even put up retail dispensaries for this purpose.
What has changed in my letter since my first draft is the correction that Federal law does not really prohibit or ban the use of marijuana but merely taxes it heavily to discourage its use. Federal law actually does ban marijuana and people can get long sentences for mere possession. It was a crucial error on my part and this subsequent letter corrects that mistake. I made the changes because someone reading my letter might get the wrong impression marijuana possession is legal but then gets into big trouble with the authorities and go to jail for believing something I wrote which was erroneous.
People who are against marijuana exaggerated the few violent cases supposedly committed by people under the influence of marijuana when it is not true. They attributed the violent behavior to its use and even sensationalized these horror stories in the newspapers just to discredit marijuana. People who committed those crimes were actually violent people to begin with judging from their criminal and past behaviors and not because they used marijuana before committing those crimes. The objections to the legalization of marijuana are based on sensationalism and hearsay. Most of medical and scientific studies conducted specifically to look into marijuana use do not indicate any violent behavior. What the studies produced instead pointed only to lethargic and mild behavior caused by the effect of marijuana. I rebutted the objections to marijuana use as merely hysterical arguments and no scientific basis at all.
My letter is intended to make people more aware that marijuana is completely safe to use either for medical or even recreational purposes. Many states have put on their ballots the question of finally legalizing marijuana use and possession for medical purposes because most studies point out to all the beneficial effects of marijuana. As a comparison, nicotine is more addictive than marijuana and yet the tobacco is not considered illegal because it is a tremendous source of sin tax revenues for most states.
I would consider my letter to be deserving of a 95% grade (an A+ or GPA of 3.5) as it meets all of the paper’s requirements and discussed the topic of marijuana use quite exhaustively and clearly too. It talked about the incompatibility of the Federal law with modern medical and scientific evidence. Read More
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