Debate Final Paper
October 10, 2014
The use of marijuana for the treatment of patients with serious health conditions is currently one of the top argumentative debated topics in the United States. Until its prohibition in 1937, marijuana was one of the top three most prescribed medicines in the United States. To date, 13 states have statutory laws legalizing medical marijuana; however, it is not legal at the federal level. Several pros and cons exist to support whether medical marijuana should be or not be legalized nationwide. The primary arguments in debating the pros and cons of legalizing medical marijuana nationwide focus primarily on medical benefits, disease prevention, medical risk, substance abuse, and legal issues. Many scientific professionals and patients claim medical marijuana provides some medical benefits. Although it has been a touchy subject between the states and federal governments to legalize or not medical marijuana nationwide, there are three important points to take into consideration; first, marijuana is a potent analgesic in patients with chronic pain. Second, it is a strong anti-emetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy treatment. Third and most important, medical marijuana should be legal, so patients do not have to break the law to receive treatment. Across the nation state organizations strictly supervise medical marijuana to ensure it is grown, sold, and used properly. According to “Harborside Health Center” (n.d.), which is one of the United States largest dispensaries of medical marijuana, “Harborside Health Center sees this as a key for achieving safe and legal access to medical cannabis for all suffering and sick Americans”. Physicians should be able to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with chronic pain without fear of punishment by the federal government. Studies have proven medical marijuana can act as a natural herbal medicine, which is nontoxic and usually brings joys and promotes a normal life to those living in chronic pain. “Whole cannabis and its extracts provide an entourage of cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids that combine to create a synergy of benefits in holistic treatment of chronic and intractable pain” (Russo, MD, 2003, p2). In addition, medical marijuana is an effective analgesic for people receiving cancer chemotherapy treatment. Cancer has many classifications; the most painful one is bone cancer in which many physicians recommend or prescribe medical marijuana. Some of the more serious symptoms of cancer are nausea, vomiting, and extreme weakness, which are side effects of some anticancer drugs. Controlling or lessening symptoms resulting from anticancer drugs is critical for suffering patients. Physicians prescribe medical marijuana based on the patient’s age, general medical condition, and other related factors. According to "Marijuana Use in Supportive Care for Cancer Patients" (2000), “Some anticancer drugs cause nausea and vomiting because they affect parts of the brain that control vomiting and/or irritate the stomach lining” (Nausea and Vomiting). Pain and suffering are always present in the seriously advanced cancer patients; therefore, these are the cases marijuana plays an important role as a medicine. Patients require the legalization of medical marijuana to avoid him or her breaking the law while consuming the product. Patients with symptoms of chronic pain, nausea, and vomiting because of the effects of chemotherapy will endeavor to obtain marijuana as a medication even though it may not be legal to purchase it. Allowing patients to live in pain is difficult, and it is even more difficult for patients who directly suffer in pain. However, patients or family members will find a way to obtain medical marijuana to help ease the pain and discomfort. Therefore, to avoid these situations the federal government should consider legalizing medical marijuana...
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