Medicinal Marijuana: Should It Be Legal In All States?

1481 words - 6 pages

There has been a lot of debate on whether or not marijuana should be legal for medicinal purposes in all fifty states. Many people believe that marijuana is an unsuitable substitute for many of the medications we have today. On the other hand, many researchers have conducted extensive studies that have shown how beneficial medicinal marijuana can be. Many states have already picked up on this, and have laws set in place to allow the use of medicinal marijuana. Medicinal marijuana has a wide variety of uses, and should be allowed for medicinal purposes in all fifty states.
In the report, “Marijuana and Medicine,“ released by the Institute of Medicine, it is stated “the most encouraging clinical data on the effects of cannabinoids on chronic pain are from three studies of cancer pain.” The Institute of Medicine conducted three studies to show the benefits of medicinal marijuana in cancer patients. They noted that cancer pain may be caused by a number of problems, and that it may be severe and persistent. Often, it is not effectively treated with narcotics. However, in a well designed, controlled study, it was found that THC produced significant analgesia in this hard to treat group of patients. The Institute of Medicine stated, “In conclusion, the available evidence from animal and human studies indicates that cannabinoids can have a substantial analgesic effect.”(69). Medicinal marijuana is prescribed to patients who have a variety of conditions including nausea,
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insomnia, lack of appetite, asthma, cancer, glaucoma, alcohol abuse, bipolar disorder, depression, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and many more. It has been shown to reduce pain, decrease nausea, increase appetite, relieve anxiety, etc. (MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org)
One argument is that marijuana could never be a suitable medicine because of the damage that can occur from smoking the plant. The Institute of Medicine addressed this argument in the report, “Marijuana and Medicine,” "Marijuana is not a completely benign substance. It is a powerful drug with a variety of effects. However, except for the harm associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range tolerated for other medications. Thus, the safety issues associated with marijuana do not preclude some medical uses."(126). Although the Institute of Medicine have shown through studies that the benefits from marijuana out-weigh the negative aspect of smoking the plant as a delivery system, there are many other types of delivery systems available to eliminate the need to smoke the plant. Some of which include digesting the plant. Also extracting the THC and inhaling the vapors released when heated to boiling temperature. Marijuana has also been used to make many medications, including: Marinal,...

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