November 10, 2014
University of Phoenix
The use of "Medical Marijuana" has been a controversial issue for thousands of years. The debate over whether marijuana should be legalized has long troubled American citizens. However, long before America was even an idea, many cultures had harnessed the plant and used it for many primitive medical purposes. Approximately twenty-three states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical treatments, but this is a relatively new idea in the United States. ProCon.org. (2014, November 13). Marijuana was not always deemed as an illegal substance act 1 and because of its inherent medical value should be legalized at the federal level.
Many ancient civilizations have discovered the use of marijuana in medical practices dating all the way back to 8,000 B.C. The Egyptians took the use of marijuana for treatment of sore eyes, the Natives of America who mixed marijuana and milk to create a primitive anesthetic. Even the Chinese emperor Shen-Nung was known to prescribe it as medicine, to treat vomiting, parasitic infections, and hemorrhage. Marijuana continues to be use in China as a folk remedy for diarrhea and dysentery and to stimulate the appetite and digestion. In India, Marijuana has been associated with magic and religion- as well as healing-for thousands of years. Practitioners of the traditional Ayurvedic medicine still prescribe marijuana to promote sleep, appetite, and digestion as well as to relieve the pain. For centuries, Marijuana has also been used by the Mexicans for the treatment of rheumatism. ProCon.org. (2013, August 13). Historical Timeline.
Marijuana was outlawed by many states long before the federal government banned it. In California pot, heroin, and cocaine were outlawed in 1913, during the first, Progressive Era wave of anti-narcotics legislation. Marijuana was officially banned at the federal level in 1937. The law was called "The Marijuana Tax Act Of 1937." It stated that in order legally to possess cannabis you need it to purchase tax stamps providing you pay the new marijuana tax. The Act levied a tax equaling roughly one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed the act because the tax was imposed on physicians prescribing cannabis and medical cannabis. ProCon.org. (2013, August 13). Historical Timeline.
In 1996, Proposition 215 (HS 11362.5) was passed by California voters. Cannabis was listed to treat over 100 different conditions. ProCon.org. (2014, October 30). 23 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC. Here is a list of a few conditions Cannabis can treat, headaches, nerve pain, control nausea, stimulate appetite, control anxiety, a series of chronic illness, also diseases like cancer, and to produce feeling of euphoria. “How does it work? Your body already makes marijuana-like chemicals that affect pain, inflammation, and many other processes. Marijuana can sometimes help those natural chemicals work better, says Laura Borgelt, PharmD, of the University of Colorado” (Harding, 2013, WebMD, para. 2). There are different ways to take marijuana such as: smoked, vaporized (heated until active ingredients are released, but no smoke is formed), eaten (usually in the form of a cookies or candy), taken as a liquid extract.( Harding, 2013) Medical marijuana causes a short- term side effects that include dryness of the mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, short-term memory loss, and euphoria. Here are some long-term effects of marijuana are as follow: increased of abnormally structure cells in the body, raping destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries to the brain can be permanent), reduced ability to learn and retain information, and personality and mood changes. (Harding, 2013)
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