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Legalization of medical marijuana - Article Example

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This article will pose arguments on the controversial issue of legalization of medical marijuana mainly focusing on policies and regulations governing this issue in the United States. …
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Legalization of medical marijuana
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Body of Essay Dani Frazier Jones International Dr. Rochelle Harris ENG101 June 9, This article will pose arguments on the controversial issue of legalization of medical marijuana mainly focusing on policies and regulations governing this issue in the United States. The discussion will lay emphasis on individuals who are affected by the legalization of marijuana, the effects that marijuana banks have on the community, the importance of legalizing marijuana and the future of using the medicinal properties of marijuana in America. The use of marijuana in the medical field dates back several years amid the plethora of disputes and opposition the practice has faced. Several countries including Germany, Spain, Canada, Israel, Portugal, Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Italy have legalized the use of marijuana in medical practice. However, in America the use of marijuana in the medical field has been legalized in some states where marijuana is distributed according to laid down frameworks stipulated by respective local governments. Marijuana is known to ameliorate vomiting and nausea, used as an analgesic to curb pain, stimulate appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy and to lower intraocular eye pressure among others. In addition, medical marijuana is used to cure asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorders, sickle-cell disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, post traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy (Morgan, 2010). The federal government together with the US food and drugs administration vehemently disputes the use of marijuana in the medical field arguing that there is quite a high possibility for its abuse especially when patients are left unsupervised. They also dispute the administration of marijuana via smoking because of the health risks associated with the practice though this problem has been solved via the introduction of other methods including vaporizers and edible marijuana products. However, the federal health and human services division and UN fight to legalize the use of marijuana in the medicinal field (Morgan, 2010). In addition, various researches have supported its use for medical purposes and interviews with patients have validated preferences to its use in contrast to the traditional medications. For example, Richard Isralowitz (2002) says that “Cannabis… has long been used as a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa and South America” (P. 131). This adds to the validity of marijuana’s medicinal values. In addition, Messerli views the use of marijuana in the medical field as a source of additional tax revenue as the use of alcohol and cigarettes collects large amounts of tax money. Eugene H. M. states that it also stimulates appetite of individuals with anorexia. On the other hand, ProCon adds that, “although the use of cannabis is not harmless, the current knowledge base does not support the assertion that it has any notable adverse public health impact in relation to mortality” (ProCon, 2011, par. VI). Conversely, Taylor proves the existence of marijuana dispensaries in Denver which were established immediately after the Coloradans voted for the legalization of marijuana in the medical field by stating that “Medical marijuana “dispensaries” have sprung up overnight in Denver, especially on Broadway, Federal Boulevard and Colfax Avenue” (Taylor, 2009, p. 25). As the above authors have stated there is a need to legalize the use of marijuana in the medicinal field and for conduction of scientific research. Apart from emanating curative effects the use of medicinal marijuana will play a part in the price reduction of pharmaceutical drugs some of which are extremely expensive. Moreover, the government can use this as an opportunity to raise additional funds. Just like the use of cigarettes and alcohol is heavily taxed, the use of medicinal marijuana should also be taxed. However, to curb its misuse, it should be administered under strict supervision. On the other hand, to curb the health risks associated with smoking marijuana other methods of its administration including vaporization should be used. In the wake of proving my point of view a research methodology to focus on a review of related literature regarding legalization of medical marijuana from authoritative secondary sources and through interviews of identified participants in the study, as well as neighbors of participants using marijuana for medical purposes and from community members where marijuana is identified to be available was formulated. An interview on a couple dealing with Multiple Sclerosis and who are longtime friends of my family was conducted. The husband, Robert has suffered from this disease for the past 10 years and is a Medical Marijuana card holder. The interview was conducted to get their opinions on the use of medical marijuana, the effect, and their thoughts about medical marijuana dispensaries in their neighborhood. My late husband passed away from liver cancer and unlike Robert he was against the use of medical marijuana for relief in respect to some of the symptoms he experienced. The interview with Cavonus was important to the research since it gave a first-hand experience on how they lived with this debilitating disease and the effects from the use of medical marijuana. This is a couple that was quite active and neither smoked nor consumed alcohol but it appears they have changed a great deal since I last saw them because of the progression of the disease. From the interview, I was able to uncover some of the difficulties they had. It was actually becoming difficult for them to do some of the simplest things. Worse still was the toll it had taken on them both financially and physically. My husband on the other hand passed away quickly after being diagnosed with liver cancer. I therefore did not have the experience of seeing him suffer daily with incontinence, nausea, pain and loss of appetite. From the interview conducted the Cavonus couple shares with me the same sentiments regarding legalization of marijuana. For instance, there is a time that Shirley, Robert’s wife, commented that, “marijuana helps with Robert’s tremors as well as stimulates his appetite” (S. Cavonus, personal interview, May 11, 2011). When asked about the effect of legalizing the use of medical marijuana to the community her response indicated that the community also supported the need for legalizing the use of marijuana in the medicinal field. This is because according to Shirley, “there have been no complaints regarding the presence of marijuana dispensaries in their neighborhood” (S. Cavonus, personal interview, May 11, 2011). Actually, the interview revealed that patients go through hard times while using conventional treatment methods. For instance, from Robert’s stand point the conventional treatment comprises the use of a myriad of drugs which have uncomfortable side effects such as dizziness and feeling weak. Contrast to this, medicinal marijuana can be used to treat a series of diseases and thus effectively curb the occurrence of a number of symptoms at a go. In addition, it enables patients to relax thereby aiding in faster recovery. On the other hand, when the price of the medicinal marijuana is compared to the price of the prescribed drugs it is evidently cheaper and thus affordable to most individuals. According to Shirley she spends approximately 10 times higher on prescribed drugs than she would have on marijuana. Moreover, marijuana lasts longer than most prescribed medicines (S. Cavonus, personal interview, May 11, 2011). Therefore, from the relayed information it is a high time for the US government to legalize the use of marijuana in the medicinal field so long as laws are put in place to avoid its misuse. References Cavonus, S. ( 2011). Personal Interview. Isralowitz, R. (2002). Drug use, policy, and management. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press. Morgan, K. (2010). Legalizing marijuana. Edina, Minnesota: ABDO. ProCon. (2011). “Deaths from Marijuana v. 17 FDA-Approved Drugs.” Retrieved from http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000145 Taylor, M. (2009). Medical Pot Outlets Growing like a Weed-for Now. Oolorado Business Magazine, 4, 25. Read More
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