Why Medical Marijuana Should Be Legalized
|Marijuana Legalization, Health, Medical Marijuana, 🏳️ Government
The legalization of medical marijuana has been a controversial topic throughout the United States of America (USA) for a while now. The use of marijuana has been legalized in some states but not yet in most other states in the USA, hence the controversy. A section of the population believes that making the use of medical marijuana legal would lead to more drug addictions in the country. They claim that it would enable most people to have access to hard substances and increase the recreational use of marijuana. The US Congress for instance, classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, just like heroin, meaning it has no medicinal value yet highly addictive. However, I believe that medical marijuana should be legalized in the United States. This is because the disadvantages outweigh the aforementioned disadvantages put forward by skeptics, marijuana is safer than pharmaceuticals and easier government control due to legalization, just to mention but a few.
The overall advantages of using marijuana outweigh its disadvantages. Even though it has disadvantages like addiction, impaired cognitive ability, damage to lungs and severe withdrawal symptoms like nausea, it would be of much help to suffering patients. According to peer-reviewed studies, marijuana is important to patients suffering from terminal illnesses and conditions such as epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, cancer, spinal cord injuries and glaucoma. The components present in marijuana provide great relief to pain associated with these illnesses and conditions. For instance, Cannabinoids present in marijuana kills tumors and prevents their growth hence essential for cancer treatment and prevention. Marijuana is also a muscle relaxant that would be used to manage seizures and stops cramps due to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) that can cause severe pain (Lines, 2017).
A recent research states that more than 300000 patients suffering from migraines have been successfully treated using marijuana in cases where pharmaceuticals would have been of little or no use (Dawson, 2015). Most patients claim that traditionally prescribed medication do little in relieving their pain as compared to marijuana. Others assert that only marijuana can carry them through their enormous pain in order for them to lead happy and manageable lives. The government taking this pain-relieving drug away from such patients is therefore unrealistic and selfish. Making marijuana illegal makes such patients go through criminating activities to get access to the much-needed remedy to their illnesses.
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Secondly, the use of marijuana is safer than most prescribed medication. This is because marijuana is a natural plant while pharmaceuticals contain chemicals, most of which are harmful. The chemicals usually have side effects like addiction to painkillers, which interfere with patients’ systems. Other prescription drugs can cause allergies, organ failure and fatalities in extreme cases (Hataway, 2016). These could be due to overdose or health complications. Most of these side effects are long-term hence cause more harm than good to patients using them. For instance, marijuana treats ADHD just as good as Ritalin without causing the negative side effects related to the latter. Marijuana is therefore better because patients would not have to worry about life-ruining issues like overdose, side effects and addictions that serve more harm than benefit (Dawson, 2015).
Legalizing marijuana would also be of benefit to the government and the country as a whole. When marijuana is made legal, it would be easier for the government to control its use. This is because the government would only allow for the use of high-grade marijuana, reducing the use of street marijuana that is of low quality and more harmful. It would also be easier to track the use of the drug and manage its use. Teenagers and young adults would also not have to get into criminal activities to access marijuana. This has been a major problem because they usually end up getting access to other harmful drugs like cocaine in the process. Marijuana legalism would allow courts to concentrate on issues other than solving cases of individuals arrested for use of marijuana, which is not worth incrimination (Paschal, 2017). This move would also help reduce the number of incarcerated Americans who are in jail because of marijuana abuse.
The government could also tax marijuana sellers and get profit from its sale-which would be good for the economy considering the huge number of individuals in need of the drug. There are more than 25 million marijuana users in the USA annually. Marijuana is the most dominant crop in the USA and could therefore create many employment opportunities to the currently unemployed and earn the government a lot of revenue that would help build the country (Hamilton, 2016). This would create a lot of profit to the above listed parties.
Lastly, medical marijuana has many uses other than treating illnesses. A form of marijuana called hemp can be extracted and given practical uses. Hemp can be used to make fabric, animal bedding and rope. It can also be used in grooming products like moisturizers and body lotions. Its oils are beneficial to the skin and prevent heart related problems. Hemp requires less fertilizer and products to grow as compared to other crops and is pest-resistant. Its seeds are enriched with omega 3 and other important nutrients (Wang, 2016). It can also be used as salad dressing and chips.
Overall, it is evident in this paper that the legalization of marijuana would have more benefits than making it illegal. In addition, the pros would not only benefit the patients suffering from chronic illnesses and conditions but also the government and business people who would sell the drug at a profit. As discussed, marijuana is less harmful than pharmaceutical drugs hence much better to be used by patients in pain. The fact that some forms of the crop have variety of uses means they could create employment opportunities and other benefits other than medical ones .It is unfair that the so-called war on drugs has been solely laid unto the government instead of the patients and doctors who, in real sense, have more say in the matter. It would only be fair and realistic that the government allows medical marijuana to be legal so that the USA, as a nation, can reap the fruits of its benefits.
- Ars, T. (May 04, 2017). Congress just blocked Jeff Sessions from messing with medical marijuana. Ars Technica, 2017-5.
- Dawson, G., & Dawson, G. (December 12, 2015). Medical Marijuana For Intractable Pain – The Minnesota Update. Real Psychiatry, 2015-12.
- Hamilton, J., & The, C. (November 09, 2016). Marijuana legalization: Big changes across country. The Conversation, 2016-11.
- Hataway, J. (July 07, 2016). Medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use. Uga Research Blog | Agriculture, 2016-7.
- JD, S. (May 01, 2017). West Virginia Enacts Medical Marijuana Law. Jd Supra, 2017-5.
- Lines, L., & American, P. H. A. (February 02, 2017). Chronic pain, opioids, and medical marijuana. The Medical Care Blog, 2017-2.
- Paschall, M. J., Grube, J. W., & Biglan, A. (January 01, 2017). Medical Marijuana Legalization and Marijuana Use Among Youth in Oregon. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 38, 3, 329-341.
- Wang, J. B., & Cataldo, J. K. (January 01, 2016). Medical Marijuana Legalization and Co-use in Adult Cigarette Smokers. American Journal of Health Behavior, 40, 2, 205-14.