The Legalizing of Marijuana
Recently, both California and Arizona took the long needed initiative and approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The California bill says that patients may use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. It does not, however, allow doctors to prescribe the drug. Arizona voters passed a bill that swings out even further to the left than California's. Voters in Arizona think that people should be able to use any illicit drug for bona fide medical purposes. A recommendation by two doctors is enough to warrant a prescription.
Unfortunately, the bills passed in both states are terribly vague and are destined to be abused. Legalization of marijuana for medical purposes is a step in the right direction, but California and Arizona are going about it the wrong way. The chemical in marijuana that has medicinal benefits is delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Studies have shown that marijuana can ease pain, relieve nausea, and generally relax a person. Marijuana is cheap and easy to produce, so if legalized, it would be plentiful and probably widely used. The problem is that there are as many harmful effects from smoking marijuana as there are benefits. It slows reflexes, dulls the brain, and sometimes causes hallucinations and/or cancer. There's no mystery about why it is illegal in most parts of the world including the U.S. There is a simple solution that is not being discussed by the hard- headed bureaucracy. THC is easily removed from the plant and could be administered as medicine in pill form. What a novel idea! No actually it isn't novel at all. Many other forms of illegal drugs are dispensed as medicine is this manner. Steroids (Cortizone, Prednizone and others) and opiates, namely codeine and morphine, are prescribed regularly to patients for pain relief. Of course the doctors don't dispense poppy seeds or cocaine, the drug comes in a pill. The amount of the drug is carefully regulated to prevent most