Should Medical Marijuana Be Legalized?

Topics: Cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Medical cannabis Pages: 5 (1558 words) Published: April 25, 2009
Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is not like other helpful drugs that have amazing medical benefits. It is not made available to thousands of patients that could gain quality of live from it. Many Americans are forced to use second rate drugs to help them deal with conditions such as nausea, glaucoma, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. Why does the “world’s best health care system” use drugs that are not as effective as marijuana, but have more side effects? The United States Federal Government is going on a personal crusade to ban legalized marijuana. Before the government makes a decision about the legality of the medical use of marijuana, they should weigh the influences that marijuana has on society in correlation with the affects the legalization of marijuana would have. If legalized marijuana is more harmful to society, then the laws against it should be retained. If the laws are more harmful than the substance; the laws should be changed.

Marijuana, like most illegal drugs, needs to have its background explained so that the common person can become educated. Marijuana’s scientific name is cannabis sativa. It is a plant that consists of dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds that provide medical benefits by the main active chemical THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol){Mayo Clinic}. The membranes of certain nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC. Once securely in place, THC enacts a series of cellular reactions that ultimately leads to the “high” that users experience when they use marijuana.

The principal constituent of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is effective in treating nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, and acute/chronic pain. Oral THC (dronabinol) and the synthetic cannabinoid (Marinol) are common substitute pharmaceutical products. Marinol is widely available through prescription. It comes in the form of a pill and is also being synthesized by researchers for suitability via other delivery methods, such as an inhaler or patch. The active ingredient of Marinol is synthetic THC, which has been registered for medical use in the United States and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, they have not been widely used because patients find it difficult to tolerate doses of these drugs. Advocates for the medical use of cannabis argue that patients should be allowed to use cannabis to relieve these above-mentioned symptoms.

U.S. states like California, Oregon, and Hawaii were the “first states to legalize growth, possession, and use of Marijuana for prescribed medical purposes.” {HAWAII} In California there is no state regulation or standard for the cultivation and/or distribution medical marijuana. California leaves the establishment of any guidelines to local jurisdictions, which can vary widely. For example, Marin County allows up to six mature plants, and/or a half-pound dried marijuana. Its neighbor, Sonoma County permits possession of three pounds of marijuana, and allows cultivation up to ninety-nine plants, and physicians may recommend more for patients who they feel are of exceptional need. These state governments have legislated to allow the medical prescription of cannabis, but the US federal government has tried to prevent patients from obtaining cannabis and threatened physicians who prescribe it with criminal prosecution or loss of their license to practice. Washington politicians claim the United States has a national commitment to democracy, liberty and freedom, but also boasts that Americans sustain the best health care in the world. These will remain just claims until our lawmakers restore the freedom to use cannabis as medicine, which they revoked with the passage of the Controlled Substance Act in 1970 {Legal MJ Favors}. In the UK and Australia, committees of inquiry have recommended medical prescription marijuana (UK) and exemption from criminal prosecution for the use of it (New South Wales, Australia), but government...
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