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Research Paper and Annotated Bibliography on Legalizing Marijuana

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Medical Marijuana, a highly controversial issue in today’s society, is at the forefront of both cultural and medical discourse. As such, it is a popular subject for debate and research paper writing. Despite federal restrictions against the use of the illicit drug, roughly 14% of Americans have tried it at least once in their lives. Moreover, medical studies have been used to show that while medical marijuana is both addictive and can pose some risks to the immune system, there are also positive implications within regard to alternative forms of treatment.

Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce psychotic behavior, nausea, pain and other ailments. However, despite studies that support this, the federal government has been apprehensive in approving the drug for retail use, albeit some states have been able to bypass this. Medical marijuana, on the whole, should be utilized on a case-by-case basis following strict regulations by the federal government. Before writing a paper on such a topic, consider buying a sample research paper from us that would include in depth research and a strong argument. We have talented writers who are well versed in the topic and know what to do. 

Positive medical uses of marijuana suggest that it could be useful. For instance, the case study of O’Brien et al (2002) epitomizes an anecdote where marijuana has been the only form of treatment to resolve psychotic behavior among youths. Moreover, ProCon (2009) offered evidence that numerous medical professionals support using medical marijuana in specific cases because it would be a more effective form of treatment. Other authors, mainly Peter (2000) and Peterson (1979) suggest that marijuana can be effective in certain cases. Therefore, some evidence does suggest that medical marijuana may be an appropriate and effective form of treatment of illnesses and ailments that cannot be treated by other medicine. However, there should be strict regulations and rules regarding the use of it. Regardless of your personal opinion on this subject, it's easy to see why so many speeches and debates have focus on this subject.

Negative Uses of Medical Marijuana

Because of the addictive and regulatory nature of marijuana, it should nonetheless be closely monitored. Grinspoon (1997) argued that there were neurological bases for addiction to THC. Since the drug affected dopamine levels in certain areas of the brain, users are susceptible to addiction. Moreover, as Sydney (1997) pointed out, there may be some added risks to the development of cancer. These studies and others support the notion that medical marijuana should not be prescribed freely; instead, tight government regulation should exist. On a broader level, Shafer (1971) and Redda (2000) suggest that there may be other implications that are socially related as well. Marijuana use may have unintended sociological consequences by promoting drug use. Therefore, because this treatment is not appropriate for all patients, misuse and abuse should be carefully monitored. The only way this can take place is even further documentation and government regulation regarding restriction, proper training of medical professionals and more empirical studies to determine which cases should be considered for treatment.

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Annotated Bibliography on Legalizing Medical Marijuana

If you are not familiar with it, an annotated bibliography is a writing assignment that asks you to list all of your academic or peer reviewed sources and its relevance for your own work. If you need some help with your annotated bibliography, then the following annotated bibliography on legalizing medical marijuana can help you write you get started. It lists all of the sources used and then analyzes how they can be used to form a coherent argument. Note that the sources are not just websites with biased and anecodtal data; instead, the sources reflect great information that is reviewed by other scholars. See below for yourself and remember that these sources are cited using APA format.

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


Peter Clark takes a thorough look at the situation of the legalization of medical marijuana. In doing so, Clark first cited the historical background of medical marijuana from a legal perspective according to DEA compliance policies and the enforcement of it. Evidence surrounding the medical uses of the drug was cited from notable physicians who have undergone studies. Clark also analyzed the case-by-case basis of each state and how the voting progressed (and how it impacts its legality). This source also went into great detail about the legal ramifications of going against federal restrictions and prescribing the drug as an alternative form of medicine. 

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

Published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, book offered research guidelines and protocols when studying the use of medical marijuana. The author argued that a wide range of diverse studies such as surveys, open ended questions and fill in the blanks need to be used to get a full understanding of the consequences of using Marijuana. This research and these guidelines will be helpful in determining the overall approach to doing medical research. By using it, I can have another lens of critique when looking at other research studies regarding medical marijuana. 

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


Erich Goode’s article on medical marijuana reflects the political aspect in contrast to the medical evidence. He argued that in making political and ideological claims against the use of the drug, scientific evidence has been used anecdotally where it has been seen fit. Goode also noted that the empirical facts have been misused in defining the ‘reality’ of the legalization debate. Finally, he went over certain methods of discreditation that have been historically used against the legalization of marijuana. This article will be extremely useful in analyzing the promoting the notion that empirical and scientific evidence should have priority over other forms. 

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


Lester Grinspoon took a neuroscience perspective with regards to the addictiveness of medical marijuana. Since addiction and the notion that marijuana is a ‘gateway drug’ is a common argument against its legalization, this article shed light on scientific data. The author argued that since our brain does indeed have a reward center and there is a connection between this part of our brain and THC, there is an addictive trait of marijuana. The article went into technical details about how dopamine specifically affects this reward center and the implications of it. This article will be useful in providing more detailed background information regarding the use of medical 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.


This source gave an interesting anecdote for the support of medical Marijuana. The main subject, JJ, was a severely disturbed child who had a history of psychotic and socially dysfunctional behavior. In an effort to help him adjust to society, his mother tried various form of treatment. Many of these included a variety of drugs that sought to reduce JJ’s violent tendencies. Unfortunately, all of these treatments either made his condition worse or did not help. Curiously, when his mother approved the use of medical marijuana, JJ’s behavior improved dramatically. His violent and psychotic behavior not only ceased completely, but he began to excel in the classroom and even helped other classmates. JJ was taken from his mother’s custody via accusations of negligence. This source will be useful in applying emotional and anecdotal evidence in promoting the use of medical marijuana.

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


Robert Peterson offers a critical analysis of how marijuana transformed from a cultural fad into a serious form of alternative therapy to common disorders. Firstly, Peterson acknowledged the general complexity of even taking this medication seriously as so much cultural backlash has been presented against it. He then analyzed the effects of marijuana on specific traits: demographics, sex, health and use of other drugs in addition to marijuana. Moreover, Peterson also remarked about the effects on learning, impairment of motor skills, the heart and other vital bodily organs. This research article will prove useful in providing another medical perspective in the positive and adverse effects of medical marijuana, despite its individual and societal benefits.

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


This source analyzed both the pros and cons of using medical marijuana based on the testimony of various physicians across diverse disciplines within the medical field. In promoting the use of the drug, many doctors testified that medical marijuana was an effective use of an alternative treatment strategy. Moreover, this drug worked very well when compared to other more conventional drugs. However, doctors on the other end of the spectrum claim that the same treatment may be beneficial for the long term, it is nonetheless bad for the overall health of humans. This source will be beneficial in applying professional testimony in determining whether medical marijuana should or should not be used.

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

This comprehensive research looks at the overall picture of marijuana use and the effects from a pharmacological standpoint. The authors go in detail about how marijuana affects the brain, vital bodily organs, reproductive organs and affects overall behavior. They also described what goes in the brain during marijuana use. This article will be very useful in analyzing marijuana from a pharmacological point of view. It will give my research paper more scientific support for my evidence because it will be supported by these skilled researchers.

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

This early government publication is a comprehensive study about a wide range of marijuana based information. First, the book argues largely that marijuana is extremely bad for your health and that its addictive nature will only make the user have negative behavior. Second, there are health repercussions from inhaling smoke and such. Finally, marijuana is said to cause intense social problems because it deters our youth from working and going to school. This article will be useful because it gives an older comprehensive analysis of marijuana. I will compare how the research and findings of the 1970’s differ from today.

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

Tatiana Shohov offers a very thorough background on the historical events regarding the use of medical marijuana. Shohov offered relevant background information about how much US citizens use it and the federal perspective of this fact. Moreover, she offered a historical analysis of how the DEA and FDA analyzed what kind of drug and under what circumstances it would be acceptable to use. Finally, Shohov described the general implications of using the drug both recreationally and medically. She referenced other medical professionals and their relevant studies. While Shohov didn’t offer a direct opinion of whether it should be legal, she did offer a thorough analysis about the relevant facts and opinions. This source will be useful in going over the background information and literature review for my research paper.

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.


This article studied the relationship between marijuana use and cases of cancer. The study that they used was of almost 65,000 California residents who have cancer and have used marijuana regularly. The results showed that using medical marijuana did not increase the likelihood of cancer getting worse. Other factors like smoking and alcohol use were also taken into account. However, the research did suggest that use of marijuana may be associated with exposure to higher levels of risk with those who do not have cancer yet. This article will be useful in analyzing some health related studies regarding the use of medical marijuana. 



Ultius, Inc. "Research Paper and Annotated Bibliography on Legalizing Marijuana." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. Ultius Blog, 05 Jan. 2013. https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/research-paper-on-legalizing-marijuana.html

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Ultius, Inc. "Research Paper and Annotated Bibliography on Legalizing Marijuana." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. January 05, 2013 https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/research-paper-on-legalizing-marijuana.html.

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Ultius, Inc. "Research Paper and Annotated Bibliography on Legalizing Marijuana." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. January 05, 2013 https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/research-paper-on-legalizing-marijuana.html.

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