Marijuana should be allowed for Medical Purposes
Over the past few decades, there has been a heateddebate on whether marijuana should be used for medicinal purposes.Different individuals and organizations have held different opinionson the matter. According to Joy, Watson, and Benson, the public’sopinion on this topic is sharply divided, with some people statingthat the use of marijuana as medicine is a hoax aimed to exploit thesick (1). On the other hand, supporters of marijuana for medicalpurposes are of the opinion that the drug can be used to reduce pain,sooth patients, and improve their appetite (Joy, Watson and Benson1). In 1982, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) proposed that marijuanacould be utilized for therapeutic purposes. Despite theirendorsement, IOM proposed a further extensive research. As a result,researchers have conducted research to determine the effects ofMarijuana on human beings. Science has shown that the cannabinoidshave several medical values. As such, it could be used as medicine.In spite of this, the contention on the use of marijuana formedicinal purposes continues to persist. This paper, therefore, showswhy marijuana should be allowed for medical purposes. In attainingthis goal, the essay provides the evidence that supports the use ofmarijuana and a counter argument on the same.
Even though a select group of individualscontinues to oppose the use of marijuana for medical purposes, thepast two decades have overseen an increase in its use to treat someof the conditions that modern medicine as failed to treat. In theopinion of Copeland and Clement, marijuana has been used in reducingpain and nausea during cancer treatments, arthritis, andpost-traumatic stress disorder. Other clinical research aimed atdetermining the medical viability of marijuana concluded thatcannabinoids found in marijuana have a natural role modulating pain.In addition, the research also concluded that, “the cannabinoidshave a multifaceted impact on the immune system” (Joy, Watson andBenson 3). However, it remains unclear how marijuana affects theimmune system.
Although multiple clinical trials indicated thatmarijuana could be used in reducing the pain levels, very fewdiscussed the efficiency of the drug. Joy, Watson, and Benson, whoresearched on the efficiency of the drug, noted that it had moderateeffects on pain, nausea, and vomiting. Nevertheless, the authorsasserted that the impact of the drug depended on the people using asits effects varied from person to person. The combined effects ofmarijuana make it more effective in treating extreme conditions, suchas AIDS wasting. Marijuana could help the patients with extremeconditions to reduce anxiety, gain appetite, relieve pain, andeliminate nausea.
Scientists have clearly proven that marijuana canbe used for medical purposes (Madras 10). However, it remains to beseen whether the governments around the world would legalize the useof this substance. Most of the researchers are of the belief thatmedical marijuana should be refined or purified. These purifiedcannabinoids are preferred because scholars know the exact chemicalcomposition of the drug. This is unlike the plant products, whichhave an unknown chemical composition and uncertain effects on thepatients. To ensure that people do not abuse the cannabinoids, thedoctor and scholars have proposed the use of special permits. Thesepermits will not only control the use of the substance but also allowdoctors and physicians to determine the effects of marijuana whetherit is being used alone or in combination with another drug.
Besides having physical effects, marijuana hasbeen known to have psychological effects on patients. Thepsychological impacts of marijuana have not been as positive as itsphysical effects because it induces different effects on differentpatients. Joy, Watson, and Benson stated that some patients,especially older adults, indicated that the use of cannabinoids ledto unpleasant feelings. In addition, they stated that using THCduring treatment led to disorientation, especially if the THC wastaken orally. For other patients, the use of marijuana escalated theanxiety levels, thus making them more nervous than they previouslywere. Some scholars were of the opinion that marijuana has addictivetendencies and can be used as a gateway drug (Madras 14). For thesereasons, some physicians believe that marijuana should not be usedfor medical purposes. However, research on different medicine hasshown that most drugs in the market have their side effects.Therefore, if a drug is effective in treating certain diseases orconditions, some of the side effects can be overlooked. Similarly,the mild side effects of marijuana can be overlooked to ensure thatlives are saved.
The debate on whether marijuana should be allowedfor medical purposes has been raging in on for decades, especiallyafter the Institute of Medicine proposed that the drug is viable fortreating certain conditions. Today, research on the issue hasprogressed, and scholars have discovered that marijuana can be a veryeffective tool in treating nausea, pain, and other conditions such asarthritis. In spite of this, some people still argue that sideeffects of the drug such as increased anxiety in some patients, aswell as its addictive nature should disqualify marijuana from medicaluse. This argument has however been contested with scholarsindicating that most drugs have their side effects. Therefore, if thebenefits outweigh the cost, as observed in the case of marijuana, itshould be allowed for medical use.
Copeland, Jan and Nicole Clement. “The Use of.” Bullet Series. 2014. Web. 12 December 2016. <https://ncpic.org.au/media/1931/the-use-of-cannabis-for-medical-purposes.pdf>.
Joy, Janet, Stanely, J Watson and John, A Benson. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2011.
Madras, Bertha, K. Update of Cannabis and Its Medical Use. 37th ECDD (2015) Agenda Item 6.2. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2015. Print.