And in an analysis released by National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University showed that ” only 2% of all incarcerated persons in the nation’s prisons and jails were incarcerated due to a marijuana charge as the controlling offense.”Despite this backing evidence that marijuana is not an all perfect cure for everything, the vast majority of people bet on all its health benefits. Thus, my journey into researching each side to the marijuana issue continued with researching its benefits. Yet, it was not surprising to learn that it is difficult to research a schedule I drug. This is why award-winning author, Kevin Hillstorm published an article for expanded research on marijuana. Writer of many subjects such as American history and environmental issues, Hillstorm believes from his own research that marijuana provides numerous of health benefits along with therapeutic ones. For starters, marijuana has proven medical benefits from reducing chronic pain and working as a muscle relaxer, and has even been seen to aid the feeling of nausea. Within his article, it is also revealed that marijuana does not simply relieve symptoms of an illness, but can also cure some. Hillstorm quotes co-director of Dystrophy Association Lateral Sclerosis Center saying, “We have now found that the … active ingredients in medical marijuana work remarkably well in controlling the clinical symptoms of ALS. Even more exciting is that we are now discovering that the cannabinoids actually protect nerve cells and may prolong the life of patients with ALS.” And of course, one of the most commonly known benefits of marijuana is its mood enhancing abilities. According to the same article, this high can actually help patients who are suffering serious illnesses, to be able to find that relaxing, comfortable state of mind, and thus be able to keep fighting through the sickness. My research also lead me to an article published in Health Findings, the official newspaper for American Public Health Association on a study done on patients smoking weed. The purpose of this study was to test the possible effects of marijuana on peripheral neuropathy, and painful nerve condition that affects those who are HIV positive. The study conducted involved 50 patients that were all HIV positive. The researchers randomly gave these patients either placebo cigarettes or actual weed to the patients to smoke three times daily for five days. The results of this study showed that those who smoked the real weed caused their nerve path to lower by 34% compared to those given the placebos only lowered 17%. Interestingly enough, the study also found that marijuana lessened chronic pain by 72% compared to the 15% for the placebo users. The researchers could also not find any serious side effects on the patients. So, with the research I have gathered, I write the rest of this essay with a new resolve. I was strong in my belief that lawmakers were honest and true in their decision to rid the country of marijuana. The path our government took to make marijuana illegal was unnecessary and without any viable grounds. Yet, researchers, scientists, and everyday people decided to look into the components of the substance and speak up on it. The discovery to its benefits was gradual but undeniable. The benefits far out weight the costs. Even though research may show it to be a possible addictive substance, it cannot even be compared to the deathly substances people abuse such as cocaine or even alcohol. Instead, marijuana is proven to help sick patients and people suffering from mental pain. While its legalization will definitely mark an adjustment period for out country, it is a much needed one. Thus, instead for a people to rely on old speculations and beliefs, we should be looking to scientific research for proof of a substance’s potential danger. Based on my research, I cannot in conscious support marijuana being illegal. Not when so many people’s suffering could be eased with its use. Marijuana, without a doubt or any more complications, should be made legal for use.