Is Medical Marijuana a good thing? Medical Cannabis or as most know it, Medical Marijuana, is parts of the herb cannabis used as a doctor- recommended form of medicine. It also refers to synthetic forms of cannabinoids, which are a class of diverse chemical compounds that activate cell membrane receptors, like Tetrehydrocannabinol (THC), which is why it is recommended from doctors as well. THC is the psychoactive drug in Medical Cannabis that works with the central nervous and immune system to help reduce pain seen in different medical issues, like cancer patients or patients with AIDS. Medical Cannabis is illegal in most countries.
In the United States, federal law outlaws, all use of herb parts from Cannabis, while some states have approved use of herb parts from Cannabis as medical cannabis in conflict with federal law. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal government has a right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medical purposes. A person can therefore be prosecuted for a cannabis-related crime. Medical Cannabis has been known to be used as a good thing as well, like to alleviate pain. Medical Marijuana is looked at from many perspectives, for example, physicians, medical organizations, and even government officials.
They all have different views. Some think it is a good thing and others bad. It is also looked at as health risks and treatment options as well. Some people support medical marijuana because it helps with pain when dealing with certain diseases like HIV/AIDS or cancer. One supporting factor of medical marijuana comes from the, “Medicinal and Recreational Marijuana Use by Patients Infected with HIV”. There are many types of cannabis but the most commonly used for medicinal purposes are hybrids of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indicia, which are believed to produce differing therapeutic effects (215-216).
Bendayan says, “Marijuana has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years in a wide variety of condition. Physicians in ancient China used Marijuana to control pain in childbirth, as well as for constipation and appetite stimulation” (222). It has also been used for the treatment of chronic pain, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, mood disorders, and much more. It has been suggested that persons with HIV/AIDS are the largest group of medical marijuana users in both Canada and the United States.
A study was done and it showed, as compared with placebo, marijuana and Dronabinol, a pill form of THC, dose increased daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV positive medical marijuana users. It also showed an improved ration of sleep within the patient as well. Another study was shown in the article, “Is marijuana medicinal? ” Donald Abrams pronounces, “We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study of cannabis for patients with HIV-related peripheral neuropathy at San Francisco General Hospital because preclinical studies and anecdotal patient reports said it was helpful” (38).
After a 2-day run-in period, patients were to smoke cannabis or placebo three times a day for 5 days. Among 50 patients who completed the study, neuropathic pain decreased by about 34% with cannabis versus 17% with placebo. This plainly shows that smoking medical marijuana helps with pain. Another reason some people support medical marijuana is it isn’t a hard drug like most think it is and the Federal Government should not be involved.
This Magazine discusses in the article, “High time a change: legendary pro-pot lawyer Alan Young prepared to fight the feds’ drug laws yet again”, how marijuana is not harmless as the federal government makes it out to be. He thinks that, “marijuana is relatively harmless compared to the so-called hard drugs, and including tobacco and alcohol” (Consiglio 6). He convinced the courts that prohibiting pot was unconstitutional for patients under medical supervision. Young also believes that if the Bill C-15 is passed, which states that if Canadians get caught with more than five marijuana plants then you shall be sentences for six months.
Young strongly disagrees and thinks that they are trying to use the law to solve every problem. He makes a plan with three steps included. “First, he plans to strike down MMAR seed policies preventing patients from purchasing anything other than a single, domestic strain. Then, he’ll fight to increase the grower-patient ratio (it’s currently one-to-two). Lastly, and for Young most importantly, he plans to create an impediment for raids of authorized grows by requiting an initial Health Canada inspection” (Consiglio 6).
He accepts that the bill will be upheld. He wants to help people that actually use marijuana correctly to be able to without the law being in the way. Philippines Daily Inquirer says “Advocates of medicinal marijuana, however, claim the weed is safer and has fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals” (“Drugs Body…”). In Canada, where medicinal marijuana is legal; the herb is reportedly being prescribed for relief of pain or persistent muscle spasms. Marijuana’s highs and lows were both shown on medical marijuana. “Proponents for legalizing arijuana tout its pain-relieving benefits and use by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments; opponents stress that science has yet to prove the drug is safe” (CNN Wire). Six thousand studies have been shown about the cannabis plant, according to NORML, which is an organization that believes marijuana should be legalized. “Our bodies make natural cannabinoids, or active chemicals that cause drug-like effects through the body, according to the National Cancer Institute. The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — works in the same way as these natural chemicals”.
Also another study was done with Type II diabetes; cannabis lowers the risk of having diabetes because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Men’s Health Magazine discusses, “how the active ingredient in pot may potentially prevent heart attacks. Harvard researchers pumped mice with cholesterol for 11 weeks, and then gave them low doses of THC” (“Pot Luck” 44). THC reduced inflammation in the rodents’ blood vessels. On the other hand, The National Drug Abuse says that marijuana can put users at risk for heart attack or stroke because it increases you heart rate and it contains many carcinogens.
Other researchers found that it cause people, especially teens to lose IQ points. “Adults who had smoked as teens tended to show more pronounced deficits in memory, concentration, and overall brainpower in relation to their peers” (CNN Wire). Mostly, marijuana is smoked for medical purposes or to take away stress. The good thing is, it’s at a low rate for addiction, and no possible overdoses have ever been reported. Some people oppose marijuana because they say it increases pain. “Medical News Today reported on a study that found that active ingredients such as those in marijuana tend to prolong pain.
Medical News Today noted that this was surprising since marijuana often said to relieve pain. Researchers said that marijuana many be useful in some situations but conclude that it should be used with great care for pain relief in light of the study” (“Marijuana Use”). Also an experiment was done with rodents and human, explained in the issue of Science, which propose that these “endocannabinoids”, which are made in the human body from smoking medical marijuana can actually prolong pain rather than relieve it. Researchers recruited human volunteers to determine whether a compound that blocked endocannabinoid receptors would have an effect on the increased sensitivity to pain (hypergalesia) and tendency for normally non-painful stimuli to induce pain (allodynia) often reported in areas of the body near where acute pain has been inflicted” (“Marijuana Use”). The volunteers did not show reduction in perceived pain but has less hyperalgesia and allodynia. The results matched up well with the endocannabinoid hypothesis very well.
Models showed that cannabinoids over-activating the pain system and it just doesn’t seem like a good idea to further increase this effect. Another reason people oppose medical marijuana is because it is based on science and politics. They also confirm that it has no medical use. “The FDA’s Opposition to Medical Marijuana Legalization Is Based on Science”, an article that was written about how marijuana has no medical use and it should be outlawed. The Drug-Free Action Alliance states, “Different organizations argue that marijuana should be evaluated for use in the same scientific manner as any other substance.
The viewpoint states that at the moment evidence indicates that marijuana has no medical use. However, the organizations argue that marijuana should not be legalized through voter or legislative initiative, because such initiatives are not scientific”. A lot of places including the American Medical Association (AMA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and even the American Cancer Society does not support smoked marijuana as medicine. The AMA believes that there should be more research into any therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids-based medicines. Medical organizations believe that safer treatments exist.
For example, Marinol, which is taken orally, and it’s a synthetic version of THC. It is also available in all fifty states. “The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the sole federal agency that approves drug products as safe and effective for intended indications”. “Marijuana is listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the most restrictive schedule. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which administers the CSA, continues to support that placement, and FDA concurred because marijuana met the three criteria for placement in schedule I under 21 U. S. C. 12(b) (1) (e. g. , marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision)” (“Drug-Free.. ”). There are alternative approved medications for treatment of the purposes of smoked marijuana. In the article, The FDA’s Opposition to Medical Marijuana Legalization Is Based on Politics reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement declaring that marijuana has no safe medical uses. Sidney Spiesel says “that this statement is not based on science.
The best evidence, Spiesel argues, suggests that marijuana may have medical uses but that further study is needed. Spiesel contends, however, that the government has blocked marijuana research. He concludes that the FDA’s statement is based on politics, and he calls into question the objectivity of government science. ” In both cases the FDA does not approve medical marijuana; it is clearly blames on both science and politics. My opinion of medical cannabis is I believe that it should be used for medical purposes because I consider that it could possibly alleviate pain.
A doctor or provider should keep a check on how much is smoked by the user. They should also have random checks of the patient and how intense their pain is. I believe that your prescription should be taken away if you are caught selling it or abusing the drug. I know that marijuana makes people sleep well and have a hardy appetite and should be given for the right purposes, like anorexia. I think if we got rid of Marijuana, people would be doing harder drugs that could possibly turn into an addiction for them and may cause more deaths from overdose.
I feel that there are more supporting views when it comes to using marijuana medically. In conclusion, medicinal marijuana has many supporting and opposing views. The analysis conclude that medical marijuana can increase or decrease pain or should the federal government and FDA be involved or not. All of the outlooks have many supporting details as well. Medical marijuana is politically, medically, and scientifically viewed and different matters are discussed and laws are being made about this issue. Works Cited Abrams, Donald I. , and Jodie Trafton. “Is marijuana medicinal? ” Internal Medicine News 15
Apr. 2012: 38. Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. Consiglio, Alex. “High time a change: legendary pro-pot lawyer Alan Young prepares to fight the feds’ drug laws yet again. ” This Magazine May-June 2010: 6. Academic OneFile. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. Drug-Free Action Alliance and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio. “The FDA’s Opposition to Medical Marijuana Legalization Is Based on Science. ” Marijuana. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Marijuana as Medicine. ” 2011. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. Drugs body says no to legalizing marijuana. ” Philippines Daily Inquirer [Makati City, Philippines] 14 Nov. 2012. Health Reference Center Academic. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. “Highs and lows of using marijuana. ” CNN Wire 7 Nov. 2012. Academic OneFile. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. “Marijuana Use Can Increase Pain. ” Marijuana. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Discovery That Active Ingredient in Marijuana Spread and Prolong Pain Has Implications for Medical Use of Drug and Concepts of Chronic Pain. ” Medical News Today. 2009. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 26 Nov. 012. “Pot luck. ” Men’s Health July-Aug. 2005: 44. Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. R Bendayan, et al. “Medicinal And Recreational Marijuana Use By Patients Infected With HIV. ” AIDS Patient Care ; Stds 18. 4 (2004): 215-228. CINAHL with Full Text. Web. 26 Nov. 2012 Spiesel, Sydney. “The FDA’s Opposition to Medical Marijuana Legalization Is Based on Politics. ” Marijuana. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “All Smoke: The FDA’s Statement on Medical Marijuana Isn’t About Science. ” Slate. 2006. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.
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