Legalization of Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes
The sensitivity that surrounds use of drugs in the United States and across the world has led to the rise of various controversies. The employment of marijuana for medication purposes is one such issue that has been compounded by a host of complexities. While scientific knowledge posits that marijuana can effectively be employed in the treatment of certain diseases, other studies disagree and suggest that there are better alternatives.
This is based upon the recognition that the drug is addictive and has various negative implications that can compromise the holistic wellbeing of an individual. Yet others contend that since the drug has been used as medication and its side effects are not significant, this should not raise any concerns (Gieringer, Rosenthal and Gregory 102). In his review, Booth indicates that Marijuana is primarily used for medicinal, recreational and in some cases spiritual purposes (56). In Marijuana, the active components that give it value are called cannabinoids (Rosenthal and Steve 46). The herb can also be used in rope making and manufacture of animal feeds.
There are several public and private groups that have continuously advocated for the legalization of this drug for different purposes. These include the Lymphoma Foundation, AIDS Care and Physician’s Associations. They argue that marijuana should be allowed in the treatment of different terminal illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. In particular, patients suffering from the latter ascertain that the drug is instrumental in stimulating their appetites and therefore protecting their immunity. This group supports legalization because they would have a chance to take care of their nutritional (Gerber 87). Perhaps the beneficial effects of the drug to cancer patients are the most significant. This is because it alleviates nausea that is associated with vital processes like chemotherapy.
Comparative studies indicate that the drug can effectively be employed in moderation for medicinal purposes as well as those related to pleasure and recreation. In this respect, the presumed negative effects on the health of the users are not conclusive and in some instances, they are contradictory. Medical studies agree that if used in moderate quantities, the drug does not have significant negative effects that would be detrimental to societal functioning (Earleywine 61).
Scientific research counters the initial assertion that the disease has beneficial effects on patients suffering from terminal diseases (Booth 89). It is indicated that the same has an active ingredient that reduces the quantity of the white blood cells that are instrumental in fighting infections. Since terminal diseases have significant effects on the health of the patients, legalization of the drug can significantly aid them in overcoming the inherent health complications. However, use of the drugs for recreation and other purposes need to be moderated.
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Booth, Martin. Cannabis: A History. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2004. Print.
Earleywine, Mitchell. Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.
Gerber, Rudolph J. Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2004. Print.
Gieringer, Dale H, Ed Rosenthal, and Gregory T. Carter. Marijuana Medical Handbook: Practical Guide to the Therapeutic Uses of Marijuana. Oakland, Calif: Quick American, 2008. Print.
Rosenthal, Ed, and Steve Kubby. Why Marijuana Should Be Legal. New York: Thunders Mouth Press, 1996. Print.
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