The issue of whether marijuana has legitimate medical uses, is addictive, and is actually or potentially physically or psychologically harmful constitute the center of the public policy debate surrounding drug reform. Numerous studies and articles have examined each of those issues. Powerful arguments have been made for and against the liberalization of federal and state marijuana laws.8 The debate centers around three issues: (1) Does marijuana or one of its components (known as cannabinoids) have a legitimate medical use?; (2) Is marijuana or one of its components physically or psychologically harmful?; and (3) Is marijuana or one of its components physically or psychologically addictive? The arguments offered by advocates for and opponents of reform can be summarized in three parts, discussed below.
Paul L. Larkin Jr.,
Introduction to a Debate: “Marijuana: Legalize, Decriminalize, or Leave the Status Quo in Place?”,
23 Berkeley J. Crim. L.