ENG 1010 – Section “C”
26 November 2012
Marijuana in a Bottle Willie Nelson once said, “I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say God is wrong?” This is just one view of the legalization of marijuana, but like they say there are always two sides to every story. Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a low cost and effective way to help patients with chronic pain, terminal illness and help give patients relief from the effects of the diseases they are suffering from. The use of marijuana for medical purposes has been the center of debate for some years and looks like it will stay there for years to come. There are two groups of people in this controversy: those who want to legalize marijuana for medical use and those oppose the legalization of marijuana in any form. Both groups are very passionate about their concerns on this controversy that seems like there is no resolution in the near future. There needs to be an available option for patients whom conventional prescription medications fail to ease their pain and suffering from their various illnesses. Marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes because it could be the answer to relieving symptoms in patients suffering from chronic illnesses. Marijuana is a low-cost, safer alternative to help with patients suffering from the effects of their particular disease, and has been shown throughout history to provide relief to patients suffering from various illnesses.
Marijuana has been used throughout the centuries to treat various illnesses and ailments. “Nearly 5,000 years ago, the Emperor Shen-Nung (c. 2700 B.C.), known as the father of Chinese medicine, discovered the therapeutic qualities of cannabis during his experiments with more than a hundred herbs” (Koch 713). There are many documents that describe how marijuana has helped relieved symptoms of chronic aches and pains for centuries. Another document that was recorded was a 3,000 page report written by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission in 1893, which stated that the moderate use of cannabis was no more harmful than the same use of whiskey. People in ancient history cannot be completely wrong in their way of thinking that cannabis is not a harmful toxic drug that has no medicinal value. If anything these documents have real merit and show the opposite, that cannabis can be very helpful to the patients who suffer from chronic pains and terminal illness. There was even an Irish surgeon, William O’Shaughnessy who boasted of the incredible uses of cannabis for certain ailments and started providing it to pharmacists, where doctors in England and the United States started prescribing cannabis to patients for their ailments. The height of marijuana’s medical usage lasted from 1840-1900. Due to the fact that about 2500 Americans were addicted to either opiates or cocaine by the end of the nineteenth century, the general population of the United States was demanding stricter regulations on narcotics-based drugs (Koch 714). The government responded to this call by enacting the Harrison Narcotics Act, which became the first of many laws restricting drug usage. These laws limited heroin, morphine, and cocaine, but cannabis extracts were still used as medicine. During the 1930’s, Harry J. Anslinger, who was the head of the Federal
Bureau of Narcotics, turned public opinion about smoked marijuana by campaigning a so-called public education program full of misinformation. He promoted marijuana as a “killer drug in which lurks murder, insanity and death” (Koch 714). By 1931, twenty nine states had made recreational use of marijuana illegal. The federal government tried to discourage the recreational use of marijuana by imposing a tax in the amount of a dollar an ounce for medical use and a