Medical Marijuana

Since marijuana was discovered, it was smoked to get high and to cope with suffering medical conditions. Scientists are now realizing that marijuana could help in some medical cases. It s not particularly effective across the board, but it may be effective for some people some times, LaMar McGinnis (medical consultant to the American Cancer Society). It should be available as a controlled substance. Pot helps with many medical conditions, especially cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and some spastic conditions.

Marijuana has its pros and cons, and to determine whether it should be legal or not, one has to outweigh the other. The reason that patients and doctors want medical marijuana to be legal is that it is wrong to deny patients relief from the pain of an unbearable disease. Studies have shown that help for chemotherapy, AIDS, glaucoma, and chronic pain is a great amount. A recent study by the Institute of Medicine stated in March of 1999 that marijuana does in fact help. The study found that marijuana does four main things. It holds particular promise for alleviating nausea and vomiting in people undergoing chemotherapy. It shows potential for improving severe weight loss caused by AIDS. It holds usefulness for chronic pain that does not respond to traditional opoids.

Another study by scientists at the University of California at San Francisco found that Marinol, a marijuana-like drug taken as a pill, killed the pain of rats by acting with the same pain area of the brain that morphine, another painkiller, affects. The studies concluded that marijuana s active ingredient THC, gives true pain relief. A doctor at the University, Ian Meng, stated, this opens the door for understanding the scientific reason that marijuana can affect pain.

Many who are against the legalization of medical marijuana are against it because they feel the legalization of it can make for social and legal issues. These are the concerns that legalization will make marijuana more of an abusive drug, especially by children. Also, many people not supporting medical marijuana state that there is still little proof that marijuana has any medicinal value. The National Institute of Health studies the use of marijuana to relive pain and found some interesting facts. No clinical trials involving smoked marijuana have been performed in patients with naturally occurring pain. Two adequate and well-controlled studies in cancer pain compared graded doses of oral 9-THC to placebo, and one of these included graded doses of codeine as a control. Although there was evidence of analgesic efficacy, the studies indicate there is a narrow therapeutic margin between the doses that produce useful analgesia and those producing unacceptable adverse CNS effects."

In summary, the National Institute of Health states that the use of medical marijuana is not worth the risks that arise. Many people and institutes support this view, but National Drug Policy Director Barry R. McCaffrey made a bold statement about if medicinal marijuana is worth it. He feels that there is little future or benefit from smoked marijuana as a medically approved medication." Director McCaffrey has determined that medical marijuana s use should be based on science, not ideology.

The politics evolving around the issue are most likely responsible for a great deal of the controversy behind medical marijuana. Supporters think that since President Clinton was so tough on drugs, nobody is actually looking at the facts to support it. Those that are against the legalization of medical marijuana feel that, once legalized, marijuana can lead to further issues, all of which are negative. One group, Americans for Medical Rights, along with many other followers have supported several successful national campaigns in the fight to legalize medical marijuana. As of recently, the following states have legalized the use of medical marijuana: California, Maine, Arizona, Alaska, District of Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.

Although the controversy over use of medical marijuana is nothing new, it does have a special connotation for the dying. The controversy stems from the legalization of marijuana for medical use. To date marijuana is still classified as an illegal drug by the Controlled Substances Act and is defined as having no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. However, many states have recognized that medical marijuana does have medicinal uses. According to the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, 34 states have recognized the value of marijuana for medical conditions. However government has been slow to agree with these states. After detailed research, some medical organizations have held back final opinions until further research can be carried out.

Marijuana is a valuable aid in reducing pain and suffering for patients with a variety of serious illnesses. So far eight states have ruled marijuana as a positive medicinal use and more are likely to come. Marijuana use may cause long-term effects and lead to a serious addiction. However, it argues that these distant risks are not relevant issues when it is prescribed to fight nausea and pain in seriously ill patients with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and other horrible diseases.

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