Marijuana As Medicine

.. on surveys of randomly selected cancer patients, they would rather smoke marijuana then be subjected to chemotherapy (Grinspoon 39). Chemotherapy patients also suffer when taking oral medication that accompanies the chemotherapy treatment. . When marijuana is taken with these ordinarily painful medications, it has been known to suppress and even eliminate the side effects. This allows the patients to sustain the treatment. It also helps them physically to expedite the healing process. Cancer will consume the weakened patient.

However, a strong patient can achieve remission. AIDS is the second most deadly disease that affects the world population. One of the main problems with combating AIDS is that the treatment is very expensive. There is no known cure yet. It has only been in the last few years that patients have admitted having the disease instead of suffering in silence.

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Victims like Ryan White gave this disease dignity and people began donating money to find the cure. Previously, AIDS patients were treated with expensive therapy. Now, however, marijuana is used currently on some AIDS patients. Studies of smoked marijuana on healthy volunteers showed that it increased their appetite and they gained weight (Mathre 86). The positive thing is that there aren’t any serious side effects for AIDS patient who smoke marijuana. Its usage isn’t a life-threatening treatment, and it can be quickly reversed when the drug is discontinued. There have been several arguments presented for the use of legalizing marijuana for compassionate usage.

States have been placing referendums on the ballots, and the United States Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether marijuana can be distributed for medicinal uses to seriously ill patients, a case that is pitting the federal government against a California cannabis club. The court’s decision to hear the case marked the latest development in a conflict between federal narcotic laws, which prohibit the distribution of marijuana, and a 1996 California voter’s initiative known as Proposition 215. The California initiative allows seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for pain relief as long as they have a doctor’s recommendation. Similar measures have been adopted in a number of other states. The high court agreed to hear a U.S. Justice Department appeal of a ruling that would allow marijuana clubs to resume service for patients who can prove that cannabis was a medical necessity. In 1998, the Justice Department won an injunction from U.S.

District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco prohibiting the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative and other similar medicinal marijuana clubs from distributing marijuana. The Oakland club openly distributed marijuana to numerous members on May 21, 1998. Breyer rejected the club’s request to modify his injunction to allow marijuana for seriously ill patients. A U.S. appeals court, however, agreed with the club last year. The court said Breyer failed to give enough serious consideration to the possibility that cannabis was a necessary treatment for patients served by the club, and that medical necessity could be a defense to a charge of distributing drugs in violation of a federal law, the Controlled Substances Act.

Two months later, Breyer said the club could give marijuana to sick people with serious medical conditions and for whom legal alternatives to marijuana do not work or cause intolerable side effects. The Justice Department got the Supreme Court to issue a Stay of Breyer’s order, and also appealed to the Supreme Court by declaring that the case presented “an issue of exceptional and continuing importance” (Reuters). The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case next year, and a decision is expected by the end of June 2001. The legalization of marijuana has become a major issue, and the number of supporters and opponents seems to be equally divided. As stated previously, many physicians feel that marijuana is helpful in the treatment of AIDS, glaucoma, and cancer treatment. They also feel it is helpful for the treatment of arthritis, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis and spasticity.

Proponents want this law supported so that the drug can be legally regulated. People who really need it can get it and use it without being criminally prosecuted. With the enactment of this law, physicians would also be protected if they should recommend marijuana to their patients. Physicians are given more scrutiny as to why they prescribe this drug to patients. The law would give physicians a right to consider marijuana as an option without being criminally prosecuted. Another strong supporting statement is that if doctors are allowed to prescribe morphine and codeine, why can’t they prescribe marijuana as well. Opponents of enacting legislation claim that prescribing marijuana does not require a written prescription.

It also does not have an age limit for utilizing the drug. Another argument is that the Federal Drug Agency did not approve of this drug and that will provide no protection for consumers. The main argument from opponents to this law is that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is already available prescription in the form of Marinol. Therefore, they feel that there is no need for marijuana to be legalized. Opponents also believe that legalizing the drug will mislead children into thinking that smoking marijuana is safe and healthy. They maintain that passing this law allows the cultivation of marijuana anywhere and that it is not a responsible medication.

Another major factor for opposing this law is that they feel it will create a loophole for drug users and growers who will not face criminal prosecution. After researching all of the topics covered in this paper, I have come to the personal conclusion that marijuana has been shown to be a safe and effective medicine. Marijuana should be legalized in order to help people who suffer from terminal diseases such as AIDS and cancer. It should also be readily supplied for glaucoma patients. The prohibition of marijuana over the past few decades hasn’t diminished the demand of the drug in the United States. I am very surprised that in a country as advanced as the United States, people who are deathly ill cannot legally obtain the medicine that will provide them with some relief from their suffering.

Marijuana is the only drug that can actually be given to patients and not cause serious side effects. It is also a less expensive means of treatment. In my point of view, if the United States government regulated the use of marijuana, it would be a very successful step. If the doctors prescribed marijuana for certain patients, and if the rules for usage of the drug were very strict, there would not be any misuse of the drug. Marijuana is also very cheap to produce, and more people could afford this drug instead of being subjected to high-tech treatments that don’t always work.

It is easier to administer, and the results are often much faster. It would be a tremendous advantage if patients were allowed to smoke marijuana. Marijuana should not be an illicit drug; it should be legalized for medical purposes only. Medicine.


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