MEDICAL MARIJUANA 8
Medicalmarijuana is relatively unknown in many countries across the world.Many have heard of marijuana while millions use it on a daily basis,but they are unaware that it is capable of treating chronic illnesses(Bostwick,2012).The invention of medical marijuana attracted divided opinions frommedical professions and lawmakers. Some medical professionals believethere are no benefits in using medical marijuana in the treatment ofchronic illness, while many other take an opposite opinion. Theresearch aims at showing to medical practitioners and lawmakers thatlegalization of marijuana for medical purposes is a positive move.Many countries are fighting its legalization citing addiction andregulation issues. They ignore the medical benefits that come frommedical marijuana. The research will present facts to add a voice tothe hot debate. The facts are from recent studies done by variousindividuals and organizations supporting or refuting thelegalization.
Recently,many debates have come up regarding the use of medical marijuana,making many to believe it is a 21stCentury practice. This is misleading for many ancient civilizationsused marijuana in treatments as early as 8000 B.C (Cohen,2012).Egyptians used it to treat sore eyes Indians mixed it with milk tomake primitive anesthetic, while Chinese emperor Shen-Nung prescribedit as a medicine to many. Different stakeholders such as healthprofessionals and law enforcers have been involved in arguing whetherthere is a need to utilize cannabis in the health setting. This hasled to the emergence of supporting and refuting arguments. On theother hand, there are many supporting the legalization of medicalmarijuana citing its health benefits. Modern research showsscientific conclusions refuting the claims of government’s standthat marijuana is a dangerous substance, which requires absolutecriminalization. Research conducted by University of CaliforniaCenter for Medical Cannabis Research specified that marijuana mightbe the first line treatment for those suffering from neuropathy andother chronic illnesses. Other findings by the Center showed thatmarijuana smoking releases neuropathic pain. The pain has provendifficult to treat using other methods considering it is a nerve painassociated with serious illnesses such as cancer and diabetes(Wilkey,2012).Marijuana medication has an ability to reduce the pain to aconsiderably low level better than currently existing medications.
MayoClinic also in support of medical marijuana legalization explainsthat marijuana can help in treating patients suffering from multiplesclerosis (Multiplesclerosis, 2015).A similar research by National Organization for the Reform ofMarijuana Laws (NORML) confirms the statement. Both studies statethat marijuana is superior to placebo, which makes it good inreducing spasticity and pain for patients with MS than currentlyprescribed treatments. Cancer has baffled many, including scientists,for many years. Recently, NORML study has illustrated the success ofmarijuana in treating aggressive cancers by making cells return totheir initial state. CBD is a non-toxic chemical present inmarijuana. It has the ability to turn off the ID-1 gene, a gene thataccelerates cancer development (NORMLFoundation, 2016).The compound is also non-psychoactive, which prevents patients fromexperiencing feelings of being high (Wilkey, 2012). Therefore, whencarefully utilized in the health area, it is likely to make patientsdependent on medical marijuana for healthy living. From a medicalperspective, legalization of marijuana would lead to easier and safertreatment of ailments that have proven difficult to treat using themodern available care guidelines (Bostwick,2012).
Thoserefuting its use for medical purposes argue that use of marijuanacauses addiction. According to Newton, cannabis has the capacity tomake users addicted. Linda Lewaniak, a director of the Center forAddiction Medicine for Amita Health, supports the issue of addictionstating that marijuana legalization will open the door for potentialabuse. Lewaniak’s debate and other current ones explain thatmarijuana has addictive properties that can make an individual becomepsychologically dependent on the drug. On ethical perspective, manyargue that legalizing marijuana might make teens believe thatmarijuana is beneficial for recreational purposes. Pope Francis inhis opposing view stated that health care providers should not usethe drug in solving a drug related problem (Winfield,2014).According to McCoppin(2015),users of medical marijuana are likely to develop addiction issuesbecause they justify themselves for using the drug to manage diseasesymptoms even though medical evidence warns of long-term harm. Otherslike lawmakers are opposing legalization of medical marijuana citingcontrol challenges. Federal and local governments state that controland regulation of medical marijuana production and distribution willbe a great task to law enforcers (Cohen,2012).Another issue is the legal procedure of obtaining marijuana formedical use. Since cannabis is illegal, allowing its use in clinicsis likely to make adherence to law difficult since people may breakthe law by using medical reasons as an escape route (Weil &Backes, 2013).
Fromthe research, it is evident that the issue of medical marijuanalegalization has attracted many debates in the recent years. Thedebates are either for or against the idea. Those opposing the ideapose several reasons. One reason is addiction. Many fear thatfrequent use of marijuana cause addiction to the users. Othersindicate that use of marijuana affects ones short-term memory, andcan lead to other disorders such as depression or anxiety. Lawenforcers have not been left behind in the fight against medicalmarijuana. According to law enforcement bodies such as DrugEnforcement Administration (DEA), marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug,which means it has a high potential for abuse. It also lacks acceptedsafety use, especially under medical supervision.
Peoplesupporting marijuana use in treatment have seen a medicinal value init. In the past, marijuana was legal, and people used it to stayhealthy. According to research, use of medical marijuana dates backto as early as 2737 B.C. when Shen Neng, China’s emperor, usedcannabis tea to treat gout, malaria, and poor memory (Ann, 2015).Other studies show that illegalization of marijuana came about due toincreased cases of morphine addiction in the United States. Its usehas proven to have more medical benefits than risks. Many people arestruggling with different kinds of pain, and medical marijuana mightbe their answer. To modulate pain, the body naturally producescannabinoids. Marijuana itself has around 60 active cannabinoidsingredients (Rahn, 2011). The main one is THC, which targets the CB1receptor, found in the brain, liver, and nervous system. It activatesthe receptor, reducing the body pains to extremely low levels. It issurprising to see many prominent health providers support theapplication of marijuana in the health sector. The work of Dr.Raphael Mechoulam also confirmed my research that medical marijuanais beneficial to one`s health. His work has inspired many people inIsrael and across the world. Israel is far ahead in the use ofmedical marijuana. While the United States is classifying marijuanaas Schedule 1 drug, Israel is using it to treat cancer, epilepsy, andmany other disorders.
Itis a high time for the people to stop believing in myths andsuperstitions about marijuana. They need to research on its benefitsand risks to acquire inspiration as I have. They should also stopopposing the idea of medical marijuana legalization without facts.Government should support research groups by providing them with thenecessary resources to ensure the studies come up with conclusiveresults regarding the benefits of marijuana on one’s health.Lawmakers need to stop fighting its applicability. Instead, theyshould engage with other stakeholders to ensure smooth production anddistribution of medical marijuana, to avoid abuse cases. Extensivecampaigns on the topic should be put in place, to ensure that peopletreat medical marijuana like other medicines. Standard measures suchas metered dosing should be encouraged (Hall, 2013). For example,doctors should prescribe the precise dosage to the patients. In doingso, both law enforcers and health providers will have an easy time totest, inspect, and sterilize it, thus safeguarding users’ health.The issue of medical marijuana requires more studies to find morefacts about the topic. Many are arguing for political or individualgains, but people need to get all their facts right regarding use ofmedical marijuana. This way those opposing the idea will startappreciating the medical benefits of marijuana.
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Bostwick,J., Michael. (2012). Blurred Boundaries: The Therapeutics andPolitics of MedicalMarijuana,MayoClinic Proceedings,p 172-186, 15p. retrieved fromhttp://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/home/ovc-20131882
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McCoppin,R. (2015). “Could medical marijuana users become addicted to pot?.Could Users Become Addicted To Pot?.”.Retrievedfromhttp://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-illinois-medical-marijuana-addiction-met-20151018-story.html
Multiplesclerosis. (2015, October 1). MayoClinic.Retrievedfrom http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/home/ovc-20131882.
Newton,D. E. (2013). Marijuana:A reference handbook.Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.
NORMLFoundation. (2016). Recent Research on : EmergingClinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids. RecentResearch On : Emerging Clinical Applications ForCannabis & Cannabinoids.Retrieved fromhttp://norml.org/component/zoo/category/recent-research-on-medical-marijuana
RahnEJ, Hohmann AG. (2011). Cannabinoids as pharmacotherapies forneuropathic pain: from the bench to the bedside. Neurotherapeutics.
Weil,A. & Backes, M. (2013). Cannabispharmacy: The practical guide to medical marijuana.New York: Black Dog & Levanthal.
Wilkey,Robin. (2012). Marijuana And Cancer: Scientists Find CannabisCompound Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers.
Winfield,N. (2014). Just say no: Pope Francis comes out strongly againstlegalizing recreational drugs. JustSay No: Pope Francis Comes Out Strongly Against LegalizingRecreational Drugs.Retrieved fromhttp://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2014/06/20/pope-to-legalizing-recreational-drugs-just-say-no