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Austin Vote

Professor Malcolm Campbell

UWRT 1104


Topic Proposal: Marijuana Should not be a Schedule I Drug in the United States


The Drug Enforcement Agency, which I will now refer to as the DEA, is a Federal

Agency that is tasked with enforcing federal drug laws. The DEA continues to stand idly by

while Marijuana remains classified in the same category as Heroin, LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy),

Psilocybin (the psychedelic component of mushrooms) and bath salts. Schedule 1 drugs are

defined as drugs, substances, or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high

potential for abuse. Marijuana was classified as Schedule 1 after the passing of the Controlled

Substances Act in 1970. Although I will focus almost exclusively on the medicinal benefits of

marijuana (justifying why it should not be schedule I), I will also give a brief overview of other

reasons it is still illegal. The answer should come as no surprise: money. Lobbyists remain the

single greatest barrier against legalization, with pharmaceutical companies being the biggest

offenders. Public data shows that in 2012, 22 Million dollars was given to federal candidates,

committees, and parties (OpenSecrets). Why? Retired police officer Howard Wooldridge, who

lobbies for Marijuanas legalization, explained that next to police unions, the second

biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA because marijuana can replace

everything from Advil to Vicodin and other expensive pills.

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I found the US National Library of Medicine/ National Center of Biotechnology

Information to be a very good source of published scientific information, which I knew would be

necessary for making a compelling argument. I researched several different illnesses and found

dozens of studies that all agreed: marijuana is medicine. I will reference these studies in my full

paper Cannabis kill tumor cells, colorectal cancer cells, uterine, testicular, and pancreatic

cancers. Anti-tumor properties of cannabinoids, which are secretions from the cannabis plant.

Commonly known cannabinoids include THC and CBD. I also have a wealth of information

about how cannabis has been treating brain cancer, mouth and throat cancer, breast cancer, lung

cancer, blood cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer. Using cannabinoids to combat

cancer-treatment side-effects; lastly, I have over 2 dozen studies I can pull information from

regarding the fact that cannabinoids can include cell death in cancer.

Marijuana being a medicine isnt a very controversial topic. I think the vast majority of

the public simply doesnt understand the positive uses of cannabis, because as a society we have

largely been trained to focus on cannabis as a bad drug, and not one that can help people. I

will avoid the topic of the morality of using cannabis recreationally because I want to keep my

paper as scientific and objective as possible.

Initial Inquiry Question(s)

Does Marijuana have medicinal benefits? Currently in the United States it is a Schedule I

drug, meaning that it is classified as having no medicinal purpose. Is this inaccurate?

My Interest in this Topic

Im interested in this topic because of how often misinformation is spread in the name of

the War on Drugs by our Government and other groups that benefit from the outlaw of certain
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substances (groups such as Big Pharma). There is a lot of bias information; skewed either to

support Marijuana (usually recreationally), and skewed also to paint it in a bad light (usually to

continue prohibition). My interest in this topic also stems from the amazing powers of cannabis

I have already seen exhibited. There are videos all over the internet of cannabis deprived

products helping people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, symptoms of Parkinsons, epileptics,

and more. Im genuinely curious to understand why it works like it does and what it does to help

people with these crippling diseases.

Next Steps
I will be reading through a huge amount of NCBI artifices I have amassed that

objectively describe the value of Marijuana as a medicine. I will digest this information and

analyze it, then share my findings in a paper format.