The information listed below is pulled directly from NORML's official website. NORML has created a comprehensive source of information about marijuana including its history, legal developments, scientific findings, and health benefits. Please visit http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7305 to learn more about why marijuana prohibition must come to an end.
· According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use.
· Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.
· Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 858,000 individuals per year -- far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
· Cannabis remained in the United States pharmacopoeia until 1941, removed only after Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act which severely hampered physicians from prescribing it. The American Medical Association (AMA) was one of the most vocal organizations to testify against the ban, arguing that it would deprive patients of a past, present and future medicine.
· Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief -- particularly of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage) -- nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders.
· Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective.
· Virtually every government-appointed commission to investigate marijuana's medical potential has issued favorable findings. These include the U.S. Institute of Medicine in 1982 the Australian National Task Force on Cannabis in 1994 and the U.S. National Institutes of Health Workshop on Medical Marijuana in 1997.
· Currently, more than 60 U.S. and international health organizations support granting patients immediate legal access to medicinal marijuana under a physician's supervision. .
Interview with Ray Manzarek, Co-Founder and Keyboardist of The Doors.