February 15, 2015
The Great Debate of Medical Marijuana
The authorities and advocates alike continue to discuss the use of medical marijuana. Many in opposition believe that there is no medicinal value at all, and it is just a "gateway" to the abuse of other addicting drugs. They feel it is just a front for legalizing it for recreational use according to Medical Marijuana, ProCon.org (2015, February 13). Marijuana dates back to as early as 2737 BC., where they had used cannabis to treat a variety of health issues including gout, malaria, rheumatoid and memory issues, according to Narconon (2010-2014). Proponents of medical marijuana, argue that there are many peer-reviewed studies to show marijuana as a safe and useful option in treating a variety of serious health issues, according to Medical Marijuana, ProCon.org (2015, February 13). While many states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, more studies are appropriate to show it is efficient and more laws implemented to ensure proper use.
What is marijuana and what are its effects
Marijuana, which is known also in slang terms as weed, ganja, pot and many other terms has been described as the dried shredded leaves and flowers of Cannabis Sativa according to, (Timberlake, 2009). The main ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) which is among over five hundred other chemicals in the Cannabis plant is responsible for the intoxicating effects (the high) that recreational users seek as it creates feelings of euphoria. THC is also the active ingredient that is responsible for treating cases of nausea and vomiting that are associated with cancer chemotherapy. During 1850-1942, the United States even prescribed it for use for labor pains and nausea according to, (Narcanon.Org).
A campaign conducted in the early 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) portrayed marijuana as potent and addicting and said that it would lead users to narcotics addiction. With the implementation of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was included and classified as a Schedule I Drug. These types of drugs included heroin and LSD among others, and is the category reserved for drugs having the highest abuse potential with no accepted medical use. For this reason, many view marijuana on the same level, as heroin or LSD and opponents believe there is no medicinal value per (Drugabuse.gov February 2012).
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
According to what are marijuana effects, NIDA [December 2014], when marijuana is being smoked, the THC along with other chemicals passes through the lungs and into the bloodstream. It then travels through the blood to the brain as well as other organs throughout the body. The effects felt immediately are feelings of relaxation and euphoria. It affects the areas of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception. Some people experience adverse effects such as feeling tired, a lack of motivation, feelings of paranoia, being scared or anxious. THC can also be prepared and consumed in foods or even served as a tea, however; the effects are not as immediate so the patient may overuse due to the delayed effects. Fears are that long-term use increases the risk of respiratory diseases including those associated with smoking. It can also cause decreased memory or potential learning disabilities as well as reduced motivation, which could cause problems in areas of life such as work, family, or concentration. Eight or ten drugs that are THC based and FDA approved are currently being prescribed to treat pain and nausea, which suggests that there are, in fact, medicinal values to marijuana. Investigations are also continuing to look at the medicinal properties of other chemicals found in Cannabis.
Many States have Legalized Medical