A lot of controversy surrounds this status of marijuana as a drug. Some feel the government was promoting a secret agenda. Others feel it was illegalized in order to protect the financial interests of certain industries. Because of all the "smoke clouds" surrounding this issue, it is difficult to wholly trust any source of information on marijuana. This is because there are two distinct sides that are extremely polarized--those who feel that marijuana is a drug and should be kept illegal and those who smoke marijuana for religious, medical or recreational purposes who feel that marijuana is simply a harmless or beneficial plant. Proponents of each side have convincing testimony that they are right and overwhelming evidence to support their claims. Recently, well-documented counter evidence is surfacing which dispells many of the negative myths surrounding marijuana. This may be due to the urgency of the debate which has caused the government to enact federal legislation prohibiting doctors to medically prescribe marijuana. But the government has also agreed to fund serious research efforts into potential health benefits of the drug.
Because opinions surrounding the use of marijuana are as strong and as polarized as opinions about abortion, people usually form their own judgments based on experience, social groups, religious outlook and other influences. This presentation will attempt to present both sides in an objective manner.
But it is very important to note the sources of information supporting each argument and bear in mind which side of the debate the source represents.