Rise in Medical Marijuana

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Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Tiffany Strangio-Knopp
ENG103 Dana LaMantia
January 30, 2013
Colorado Technical University

Abstract
Over time the use of medical marijuana has grown significantly. Research shows that the opposed opinions of well noted people and agencies have fought to both keep marijuana illegal as well as make it legal. Both sides stake claim to the use medically. This battle has been escalating greatly over the last 20 years. Marijuana has many uses, as well as risk. Further investigation is always needed when science and law are involved.

Legalization of Medical Marijuana
The legalization of medical marijuana has been a continued hot topic in the United States for the last two decades. Marijuana is not a new drug. The use of marijuana dates back as far as 2700BC in ancient Chinese culture. History shows us that marijuana has been used in many cultures for common ailments like nausea, vomiting, nerve pain, menstrual cramps and glaucoma, even for the use of multiple sclerosis pain in modern time. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has done extensive research and continues to do so in order to validate marijuana as a safe and viable medical option in our current western civilization. Many scientists have found both positive and negative effects of marijuana. Smoked marijuana can contribute to some risk factors like bronchitis or a weakened immune system as well as an altered state of mind. Marijuana used to treat cancer patients with severe effects from chemotherapy has proven extremely effective. Medical marijuana has also been proven safer than most pain medications that are FDA approved. The FDA and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have continued to fight the use of medical marijuana even though it has become more commonly used across the nation. Medical marijuana is federally illegal but more and more states continue to change state law opposite of federal law. Medical marijuana has seen an increase in use across the nation because of the lack of severe side effects, and state and local governments disagreeing with the federal law.

According to the FDA Marijuana (Tetrahydrocannabinols or THC also known as cannabis sativa or pot) is still a class I scheduled narcotic. This means that is has an extremely high potential for abuse and addiction and has absolutely no medical use (U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section September 2012). However, In 2003 The US Department of Health and Human Services received a patent for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants (U.S. Department of health and Human Services HHS.Gov [US 6,630,507 B1]). The FDA has spent two decades testing and denying the legal use of Marijuana. The FDA does not believe that the medical use of marijuana outweighs the dangers that are caused by the most common side effects. The latest clinical trials done show that the most common side effect from medical marijuana is dizziness (Canadian Medical Association 2008). ProCon.Org did a study in which they took results from the FDA on the amount of deaths due to marijuana vs. 17 FDA approved drugs. The study shows that there were zero deaths that were a direct result of marijuana. The 17 other FDA approved drugs caused 10,008 deaths all together, in the time frame of the study. Despite the evidence that has become available from the testing the Federal Drug Administration still believes that more testing needs to be done to prove THC is a safe drug.

In the middle of the 1980s Marinol (used to prevent vomiting and nausea) was an FDA approved drug prescribed to patients with anorexia from HIV/Aids, this drug proved to have many adverse reactions in patients including death. Marinol along with six other anti-emetics that were prescribed and approved by the FDA seemed to have many adverse reactions still to this day. The FDA...
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