ShouldMedical Marijuana be Legal?
Marijuanais an illegal drug that is obtained from the flowers of a plant knownas Cannabis sativa. The most effective compound in the drug known asTetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and it has some significant effects on thehuman mind. These effects include changes in a person’s mood, anincrease of appetite, euphoria, and even hallucinations. This drughas been used for recreational purposes for thousands of years. Itwas not until the 1930s that the drug was made illegal for both itsuse, possession, and distribution. Recently, scientific research hasshown that some components found in THC can be used for healthpurposes. These findings enabled medical marijuana to be legalized inseveral states within the United States (Cerdá et al., 22). However,skeptics are still against this drug due to its side effects and thepotential impact on the community. This essay will argue thedifferent sides of this issue and offer a viable solution.
Thesis:Medical marijuana should be legal because it is safer, and costeffective.
Whenused for medicinal purposes, marijuana has been known to relieve andeven cure symptoms associated with several chronic diseases. Theseillnesses include some forms of cancers, multiple sclerosis andmental conditions such as schizophrenia. Besides, use of medicalmarijuana has been seen to diminish the effects such as nausea andloss of appetite in cancer patients that undergo chemotherapy (Hill,2479). These findings have led to more people supporting this drug’slegalization, and so far, over 18 states within the US haveauthenticated the growing, selling and use of cannabis for healthissues (Cerdá et al., 23). There are many reasons that have led tothis decision. The main one is that medical marijuana is much saferthan most of the manufactured medicinal drugs currently incirculation. Marijuana is considered safe because it is producednaturally without any chemical additives. Also, there are no reportedcases of overdose from this drug since the lethal dose is much higherthan the recommended dose for treatment. Several scientific studieshave shown that synthetic prescriptions such as oxycodone have worsenegative effects on the human body compared to THC (Hill, 2481).Thus, it seems obvious that when it comes to pain relief for patientswith various conditions, marijuana is the innocuous option. Marijuanais also much cheaper than most of the drugs produced bypharmaceutical companies. Considering that it only undergoes fewersteps from its preparation to the point that it can be ingested, thecosts incurred are much less than the other medicines capable ofinducing the same therapeutic effects.
Onthe other hand, medical marijuana should not be endorsed due to itsmind altering capabilities. THC can be introduced into the bodythrough smoking, consumption of several baked products and inhalationin vapor form. Smoking is the most common means, especially forrecreational purposes. Through this method, the smoke particles areknown to cause throat and lung cancer, and other cardiovascularconditions (Hill, 2475). Based on these harmful impacts, legalizationof marijuana does not appear to be a practical solution. Long-termmarijuana users are also at a risk of addiction. This situation canlead to unproductive members of the society. A person under theinfluence of this drug loses most of their motor functions and thuscannot be relied upon to perform any duties or make importantdecisions (Friese & Grube, 36). Over extended periods, the use ofthis drug can lead to an inability to concentrate and think properly.Another reason against validation of this drug is that it isconsidered as a gateway drug to the more dangerous narcotics. Somepeople claim that a person that begins using marijuana is more likelyto try out other drugs such as cocaine, crystal meth and heroine(Friese & Grube, 35). Such reasons are causes for concern whenconsidering whether to legalize medical marijuana.
Researchon the medical capabilities of THC are still ongoing, and althoughthe findings are yet to be fully accepted by the professions in thefield of medicine, the results consistently show the usefulness ofmedical marijuana. Patients suffering from cancer and full-blown AIDScan manage weight loss through the use of cannabis (Hill, 2479). Thisdrug increases the appetite of an affected patient and helps themconsume their daily nutritional requirements. People with healthconditions that cause them pain can find quick and simple relief frommarijuana. The benefit of THC over the other available analgesics isthat it is harmless. Whereas it is easy for a person to overdose ondrugs such aspirin, overdosing on cannabis is highly unlikely becauseit would require a large amount of it to have the same impact (Hill,2481). Marijuana is much cheaper as well due to the low cost ofproduction. The harmful side effects that may arise from smoking itcan be minimized by creating safer ingestion ways such asvaporization. This method ensures that a patient in need can obtainthis drug in a safe manner while avoiding the carcinogenic compoundsfound in smoke. Use of medical marijuana under strict supervision isunlikely to cause addiction since the patient’s dose is alwaysmonitored.
Althoughthere are many people against the legalization of medical marijuana,the practical solution would be to validate it. Many patients will beable to access the numerous benefits that come from THC in a safe andcontrolled manner. The main setback towards this option is thecurrent stigma that marijuana has within the society. The communityshould be enlightened on the importance of this drug and how it canhelp the sick without making their health worse or even depletingtheir finances. By authorizing this drug, more studies can beconducted, which, can lead to the realization of the unknownbenefits. Thus, medical marijuana should be legalized.
Cerdá,Magdalena, et al. "Medical marijuana laws in 50 states:investigating the relationship between state legalization of medicalmarijuana and marijuana use, abuse and dependence." Drugand alcohol dependence 120.1(2012): 22-27.
Friese,Bettina, and Joel W. Grube. "Legalization of medical marijuanaand marijuana use among youths." Drugs:education, prevention and policy 20.1(2013): 33-39.
Hill,Kevin P. "Medical marijuana for treatment of chronic pain andother medical and psychiatric problems: a clinicalreview." Jama 313.24(2015): 2474-2483.