Mr. B. Prestwood
October 3rd, 2014
Legalization of medical marijuana is a major topic among the world today. Marijuana for medical purposes is good because it helps relieve pain in patients with both short term and terminal medical issues, such as, cancer, glaucoma, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and epileptic seizures. Some have even said that ingredients in marijuana have helped cure certain diseases. A couple of points to make about this topic are there are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers think have medicinal application. Those are cannabidol (CBD), which seems to impact the brain without a high, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has pain relieving properties. Research has also discovered marijuana does in fact help treat medical diseases. Another interesting fact is tobacco smokers lost lung function over time but marijuana users showed an increase in lung capacity. This leaves one question should marijuana be legalized for medical purposes?
Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Marijuana has not only been used for amusement but it has been a treatment for many illnesses therefore we need to consider all the characteristics of marijuana before making a decision to legalize it for medical purposes. Marijuana use for medical purposes has been a major controversy in the United States and other countries for several years. In 1996, the state of California passed a ballot that allowed doctors to use medical marijuana for different health cases and not get penalized for doing so. There have since been 23 states including DC allowed the use of marijuana for medical purpose.
The legislation voted to allow doctors or other medical professionals to write prescriptions for up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions. Those conditions include cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and post-traumatic stress. The marijuana would be available through licensed dispensaries that would grow the drug on site in locked greenhouses. Patients in remote areas could be licensed by the state to grow a small number of marijuana plants for their own use. Marijuana is used for many medical purposes such as cancer, glaucoma, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and epileptic seizures.
It is proven that marijuana is effective at relieving nausea and vomiting, especially caused by chemotherapy used to treat cancer. Marijuana can relieve spasticity of the muscles that is sometimes associated with multiple sclerosis and paralysis. Marijuana can help treat appetite loss associated with HIV/AIDS and certain types of cancers. Marijuana can relieve certain types of pain. Marijuana is safe, safer in fact than most other prescribed medications to treat the same symptoms. Studies show that smoking marijuana alone without the use of tobacco does not increase the risk of lung diseases. Marijuana has been used for centuries as a medicinal agent with good effect.
The term medical marijuana actually refers to the three different forms, Endocannabinoids, Phytocannabinoids, and synthetic compounds, which the plant can be found in. Endocannabinoids deals with the effects of the plant on neurotransmitters, while synthetic compounds are laboratory made compounds that resemble the chemical structure of the plant and act very similarly to the natural. However, the most medically relevant form is the Phytocannabinoid, which contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol. THC is directly linked with the psychoactive effects of the cannabis plant. The cannabidiol is linked to the sedative effects. Common effects that can be observed from exposure to THC are mild euphoria, relaxation, and time distortion .Some of these effects when used medically have been known to help people who suffer from chronic pain in joints and bones. Medicinally, the plant would be taken in small doses and only as needed.
Marijuana has a