Drugs have played a major role in shaping society in the United States since its beginnings to present day. Drugs utilized in the medical and pharmaceutical fields have extremely wide range of positive effects and are an everyday part of American life. As many different kinds of drugs as there are that benefit life, there are also many drugs that can be harmful and are extremely dangerous. In the United States the government enforces strict laws and regulations concerning all different kinds of drugs. In 1937 the United States passed the Marijuana Tax Act, and in 1970 passed the Controlled Substance Act, which officially made criminalized the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana. Under this act marijuana is classified a schedule one drug, the highest penalty and most restrictive class of drugs. Despite the law, marijuana is the third most popular recreational used drug in the U.S with nearly 80 million Americans who have admitted to trying it and 11 million using it regularly. Recent efforts have forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take a second look at the effects of Marijuana.
Some of the latest studies show marijuana has highly useful effects for the treatment of serious life-threatening illnesses such as glaucoma, MS, HIV/AIDS, and cancer. Marijuana alleviates many of the painful and uncomfortable symptoms of these illnesses, such as vomiting, nausea, muscle spasms, migraine headaches, depression, and insomnia. Also stimulating appetite and promoting weight gain. Many states have already made the step forward toward the decriminalization of marijuana and its legal use for medicinal purposes. The passage of Bill A-804 by New Jersey legislative committee will grant victims of serious illnesses the legal permission to smoke marijuana in order to ease pain or symptoms of their illness. I believe New Jersey is taking the initiative toward the decriminalization of marijuana that soon the rest of the country will follow. New Jersey is the fourteenth and most recent state to make this progress. President Obama told Rolling Stone Magizine in July 2008 his plan of policy on marijuana would begin with a “public-health approach”, and described the current U.S. policy on marijuana as “expensive, counterproductive, it doesn’t make sense”. As his presidency unfolds this country will hopefully experience a change in its view of marijuana, and take a positive approach towards the beneficial properties of marijuana.