Marijuana has been used around the world for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments. Chinese emperor Shen Nung was the first to record marijuana as a medical drug in 2737 B.C. He documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains associated with rheumatism and gout. The legalization of medical marijuana has long been debated within American society and Government. Marijuana was a legal source for medicines in the U.S. until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which federally prohibited marijuana. Prior to the enactment of the Marijuana Tax Act, there were at least twenty-seven legal medicines that contained marijuana available in the U.S. In 1970, The Controlled Substances Act placed marijuana into a Schedule I status defining it as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Currently it remains illegal under federal law in the United States other than the four Americans that were grandfathered under the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program. Contradictory to federal law, at present, medical marijuana is legalized in sixteen states and Washington, DC. There have been multiple studies and research done by advocates for and against medical marijuana legalization. Although there are strong arguments by both sides, federally legalizing the use of medical marijuana is the better choice because it has beneficial effects to patients suffering from various ailments; it will cause a decrease in recreational use nationwide; and it is less harmful to the user than many other prescription medications. At present, the pros outweigh the cons when considering the positive benefits to medical marijuana.
On September 6, 1988, the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, ruled: "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man…” [Docket #86-22]. The principal constituent of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is effective in treating nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, and acute or chronic pain. Specifically, marijuana has been proven to give relief from nausea and appetite loss caused by AIDS. It reduces intraocular pressure caused by glaucoma. Additionally; it has positive effects on persons suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and other conditions with chronic pain. Beside the medical evidence that marijuana is helpful in treating certain ailments, there are numerous organizations that support some type of physician supervised access to medical marijuana including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Health Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. Millions of patients in the U.S. could be helped by medical marijuana.
On April 20, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted the following “Inter-Agency Advisory” on its website, www.fda.gov, “… A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services agencies… concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety of efficacy of marijuana for general medical use.” Medical marijuana is not the only source of pain relief that contains THC available to patients. Marinol, a pill with synthetic THC, is often prescribed to patients suffering from AIDS, or cancer patients that have gone through chemotherapy. Unlike medical marijuana, Marinol is FDA approved. It seems as though Marinol could substitute marijuana for treating symptoms related to AIDS and cancer chemotherapy; until you consider some other facts that prove otherwise. First, Marinol only provides limited relief to a select group of patients. It also does not have the same effect for the number of different ailments as marijuana. Marijuana or cannibas is made of multiple...
Cited: 16 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC. 13 May 2011. MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org. Web. 13 Aug. 2011.
31 Random Facts About Marijuana
Cannabis is more than simply D9-tetrahydrocannabinolby Ethan B. Russo and John M. McPartland. 2003. Psychopharmacology (2003) 165:431-432. Web. 16 August 2011.
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