Should Medicinal Marijuana Be Legalized Nationwide?

1386 words - 6 pages

The first recorded use of marijuana for medicinal purposes was 2727 B.C., while most common prescription medications have been on the market for approximately than 30 years or less. The number of adverse short-term side-effects is fewer when using medicinal marijuana versus prescription medicine. The long-term side-effects of prescription medicines are numerous as well as unfavorable. Medicinal marijuana can improve the quality of life of a patient suffering from the negative reactions to prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Medicinal marijuana provides relief without the negative side-effects of prescription medicines; therefore, should be legalized nationwide as a valid medicine.
Cannabis was introduced as a modern medicine by Dr. William O’Shaughnessy in Europe in 1839 (“Who are the medical marijuana patients? Population characteristics from nine California assessment clinics”, 2011). Medicinal marijuana was prescribed for therapeutic use by American medical practices for numerous conditions, and in 1850, the United States Pharmacopeia admitted marijuana for pharmaceutical use. By 1936, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics advocated a law that prohibited the use of marijuana, and it was passed by Congress in 1937. It was then pushed out of common medical practices and the United States Pharmacopoeia from the increased the prescribing of aspirin and barbiturates. The gradual rediscovery of the therapeutic uses became prevalent after nonmedical marijuana use increased in the 1960s. The legalization of marijuana for medical purpose has spawned controversy ever since.
Most patients and users smoke marijuana in a pipe, ingest marijuana baked in food, or inhale with the use of a vaporizer. The most common conditions treated with medicinal cannabis are pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Marijuana relieves symptoms of glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In 1964, scientists determined the precise chemical structure of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), thought to be the most significant psychoactive ingredient in cannabis (“Who are Medical Marijuana Patients? Population Characteristics from Nine California Assessment Clinics”, 2011). Since marijuana is classified as a controlled substance—meaning it is not acceptable as a medication, has a high potential for abuse, and a lack of safety—state and federal laws are conflicted. This means that in states that have approved legislatives for medicinal cannabis use, federal law takes president and charges can be brought up on patients found to be in possession of marijuana in public. Fortunately, those people diagnosed with a treatable condition indicted on marijuana related charges can use the defense of medical necessity with their physician’s assistance. This is why there is a need for the legalization of medical cannabis on a federal nationwide level.
Prescription and OTC medications relieve numerous symptoms, and improve various conditions and illnesses. Short-term reactions of...

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