Legalizing Medical Marijuana

The debate over the legalization of marijuana has persisted in the world, and more so in the U.S.A., especially over the past two decades. The application of medical marijuana is a very complex issue, and it is still subject to a great number of debates. However, recent findings on the potential benefits of marijuana cannot be ignored. In fact, the Obama administration has recently supported scientific research to determine whether marijuana can be safe and effective medicine. Despite these efforts, the critics remain wary of its potential side effects. This makes the case of legalization of marijuana one of the most difficult subjects to study in the United States of America. Marijuana still remains as a Schedule I substance on the federal list, meaning that the authorities consider it to have no specific medical value, thereby requiring a valid license from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to perform clinical studies on it (Campbell 41).

It is hard not to imagine the great leap the world would make with respect to health issues after legalizing marijuana. For instance, marijuana has been known for some time now to bring some relief to patients who are under palliative care. Regardless of this fact, many still doubt whether such use should be continued and even whether it is a safe option. It is not surprising to find health care service providers being asked to be cautious when it comes to advising their clients on using marijuana for medical relief. Medical marijuana is extremely beneficial to health. It has been used to treat children diagnosed with debilitating diseases alongside other conditions. It is my opinion that marijuana should be legalized in the U.S. to provide better health care. With the world being faced with a broad range of diseases, it is time to legalize marijuana for its medical use.

The call to action requires that the Drug Enforcement Agency sets up more structures and mechanisms to monitor the use of marijuana. Only some authorized physicians, pharmacies and health centers should be able to sell marijuana for medical use to the right candidates. Learning institutions should also campaign for the medical use of marijuana rather than its inappropriate use.

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The current status of marijuana

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a herb that has been used by people for many years. It is also known to be the drug that has the most widespread use all over many nations and states. The earliest prescriptions recommended taking the drug in the form of eating the seeds mostly for their nutritional value, as well as smoking the cannabis to relieve vomiting, pain, spasticity and convulsions. Historically, marijuana is thought to originate as far as 5000 years ago in ancient China, where it treated various ailments, including rheumatism and malaria (Geluardi 89). Before 1937, the use of marijuana for the treatment of ailments was widely spread in many states, but as soon as it was deemed illegal, cannabis was known to be an adverse drug across the board. Henceforth, the society did not accept it wholly even for its medical purposes. The DEA has for a long time continued to maintain the idea that cannabis should not be used, even though many claims it should be. It is classified as a schedule one drug, and if it is ever rescheduled as a class two, that will mean it has some medical value and its application should be done along with careful supervision by health care providers. There will also be more research done in order to find the disadvantages of cannabis use.

In many states, the federal policy is that possession of cannabis is a criminal offense. The American Association has reported that marijuana rescheduling will be done if the act in itself leads to more development and researches on cannabinoid-based treatment. There are very many medical practitioners who would recommend the use and application of marijuana for the treatment of various ailments, but, if they dispensed it officially, they would be taken into custody. The rescheduling of cannabis would help oncology APNs (advanced practice nurses) to prescribe the drug that enables policies, as well as appropriate dispensing methods.

Reasons why people should support the legalization of medical marijuana

My opinion is that medical marijuana should be legalized because the chronically ill patients require access to various types of treatment that health care can offer. Besides, marijuana has been utilized as a natural remedy for a range of illnesses because of its various benefits, so it cannot be ignored. Medical marijuana for adult use has been accepted in some states. A certain study revealed that 85% of Americans do not object the medical use of marijuana in adults. Various sectors indicate that legalizing marijuana would lead to adverse results only in terms of its abuse. However, marijuana should be legalized as trained physicians possess the ability and expertise to monitor a patient’s intake of the drug.

The legal use of medical marijuana is a decision that should be considered at the state level. Because the federal law prohibits the possession of cannabis, the ill patients who possess it can be subject to criminal charges in the states that prohibit its use. The public’s opinion with regards to marijuana use can be influenced by its legalization in the field of medicine. The problem is that most states that have legalized the use of marijuana for the purpose of treating ailments have a higher rate of marijuana abuse, as well as its use and dependence. That notwithstanding, there has been major clinical evidence of the use of marijuana for the treatment of epilepsy. There are many animal tests that confirm its effectiveness in the treatment of epilepsy, but there are very few supportive clinical data. In a controlled case study consisting of 308 cases involving new onset seizures, it was found that the use of marijuana was very much not present in males who had unprovoked seizures in contrast to the controlled cases. In women, there was no significant difference. Thus, the study suggests that the use of marijuana has a potential protective factor when it comes to getting seizures. The study, however, suggests that such a conclusion should be considered speculative.

Apart from the health benefits associated with marijuana, the drug should be legalized for its therapeutic benefits. Haerens and Zott (118) suggest that its therapeutic benefits are rooted deep down in science because marijuana contains about 60 ingredients known as cannabinoids. With the human body being able to produce naturally its own cannabinoids, medical marijuana would complement what is necessary. With these ingredients, marijuana can relief the response to noxious chemicals and any related pain. Studies show that the condition of 32% patients having schizophrenia who had randomly received cannabidiol treatment improved significantly after the intake (Szumski and Karson 121).

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Counterarguments

On the other hand, legalization of marijuana may lead to catastrophic effects on society; at least this is what many people prove. The concerns over negative effects on physical and mental health, the rise of drug cartels, loss of controls of teenagers, and marijuana being a gateway drug leading to the use of other hard drugs are completely legitimate. The question of where we stop after the legalization of marijuana is paramount. There are those people who experiment with it, use it regularly, and those who use it for recreational purposes. Regular use of marijuana does automatically indicate dependence with time. Therefore, many argue that marijuana resembles alcohol to a greater extent than it does other “hard” drugs. Statistics shows that more than 65 million people in America, or one in every five Americans, use marijuana regularly or at least occasionally. The drug enforcement agencies will not have the capacity to monitor all fields to ensure that marijuana is only being used for medical purposes. The situation could run out of control at the slightest provocation, and in no time the society may have to deal with the negative effects of marijuana addiction.

However, to refute the claims that marijuana legalization would go out of control, it should be noted that various programs have been working in the states, such as California, which have accommodated medical marijuana. In other states, cancer is a qualified illness for the application of marijuana based treatment. These states have legalized its use. One example of such states is New York. In the case of New York, legislation is strict on how marijuana can be accessed (Minamide 143). To this effect, the state only allows its use for a few serious medical conditions, such as cancer. Medical marijuana needs to be legalized because it is possible to control its accessibility to certain patients who require it.

Conclusion

Currently, there are many researches done to find whether the use of cannabis in the treatment of various ailments, such as epilepsy, is reasonable. However, due to the complete lack of clear, concise, and accurately controlled trials, many still doubt the necessity of application of marijuana in treatment. There are instances when parents have urged institutions to let them provide marijuana treatment to their children as there is some evidence that it relieves symptoms of individual illnesses. However, due to its lack of legality, as well as policy on its medical administration in various states, the option is still deemed illegal. Legalizing marijuana can go a long way to transforming the health economy of the society. If not for any other reason, marijuana should be legalized for medical and therapeutic benefits. Chronically ill patients should be able to access marijuana under close monitoring by physicians and protection by the law. It is recommended that the administrations across the continent should support researches on medical marijuana to assess its potential benefits. To this effect, the governments involved should not impede marijuana efficacy research. Only then will they be able to feel confident that it is time to legalize marijuana for, mostly, its medical use.

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