Should Medical Marijuana Be Legal?
Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world. Though illegal in most states, several states have passed laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. As of 2013 there are 18 states and DC, who have legalized marijuana for medical use while 10 more states are pending the bill to be passed. Marijuana remains illegal throughout the United States and has not been approved by the FDA for prescription for medicine. In fact, “The FDA and comparable authorities have not approved smoked cannabis for any condition or disease” (Medical). Wherever the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is allowed, doctors recommend it to treat chronic diseases and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, AIDS, cancer, nausea resulting from chemotherapy, and even ADHD. Doctors have even recommended it for critically ill patients, as a way to relieve some of their pain and improve their overall quality of life. Although the substance can potentially aid in the pain of an ill patient, marijuana remains a controlled substance, making possession and distribution illegal. Medical marijuana is less harmful than most over the counter medication and has the ability of reducing the pain of ailing people. Medical marijuana was introduced to the United States when in 1978 Robert Randall was arrested for using marijuana to treat his glaucoma. Randall sued the United States and won which required the FDA to supply Randall with marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since then many states and the District of Columbia approved marijuana for medical use. In the U.S., there is a difference between the state laws and federal laws on medical marijuana. Marijuana used for medical reasons or recreational use, is illegal under federal law. Even if you live in a state that has legalized marijuana for medical use, you are subject to arrest for possession. In states like California and Colorado, marijuana can be purchased at state approved dispensaries, but has become the topic of discussion within the government because growing, selling and purchasing marijuana remain illegal under federal law. Since 2001, there were two rulings that confirmed the federal government’s guarantee of prosecuting buyers and sellers in states where marijuana has been approved for medical purposes. As of 2009, new federal guidelines were passed in support of medical marijuana that would not target dispensaries that obey the state laws and medical marijuana patients. According to U.S. attorney General Eric Holder, “It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal” (Medical). President Obama also said in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that, “he didn’t expect Congress to change that law: We’re not going to be legalizing weed…anytime soon” (Tau). Medical marijuana should definitely be considered for legalization throughout the United States because of its ability of aiding people with diseases and chronic pain. Prescription drugs are one of the major causes of deaths in the United States. Anyone can die from ingesting too much medication. Marijuana, on the other hand, medical or not, is not only non-lethal, but beneficial in aiding in the pain of people with chronic illnesses. Medical research supports the use of marijuana to relieve symptoms and decrease side effects to the treatment of different diseases such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, nausea and chronic pain. Though over the counter medications are available, smoking marijuana can help those individuals who can’t bear the treatment of said diseases a lot easier. Although we have many treatments for almost every human problem, some patients do not respond well to other medications and need medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms....
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