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Cannabis Legalization Essay

1241 words - 5 pages

In 1972, Congress categorized Cannabis in Schedule I of the controlled substance, making it illegal in the United States. The reason behind was that they considered the plant has “no accepted medical use”. Decades later, 20 out of 50 states, and District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of cannabis. During the past decade, numerous researches and medical trials have been conducted on Cannabis. Opponent of the plants legalization argues that the drug is too dangerous to use; it is addictive; and that legal drugs are often more effective than marijuana. In this comment, I will be discussing the recent studies of the medical usage of cannabis. Based on those researches, I argue that ...view middle of the document...

In fact, marijuana smokers performed better on tests of lung function than non-smokers. Researchers in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in young adults conducted a long-term study of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The research tested the lung function of 5115 young adults over the course of 20 years. The results were unexpected and positive. Marijuana smokers outperform on the test which measures the total volume of air one can inhale. Researchers suggested the reasons are due to the fact that cannabis users usually draw deeply each inhale of the smoke— and hold it in for as long as possible. This practice expand lung capacity.
Epileptic seizures
Other than health benefits, research also indicates that cannabis provides potential medicinal benefits on specific diseases. One of example is the epilepsy seizures. Cannabinoids was used to treat seizures for thousands of years. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures. The seizures occurs when clusters of nerve cells, known as neurons, send out wrong signals. , approximately 1 percent of Americans have Epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological conditions in the United States. There are currently no cure for epilepsy and 30 percent of patients are resistant to conventional anticonvulsant drug treatments. Research conducted by Robert J. DeLorenzo of Virginia Commonwealth University suggested a potential treatment using marijuana.
During his research, marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana was applied to epileptic rats. The drug was able to rid the rats’ seizure for 10 hours. The research shown that cannabinoid is able to control seizures by triggering a protein known as CB1 receptor, which are found in the part of brain which regulates memories and the nervous system. The CB1 receptor controls excitability and regulates relaxation in human body.
"It shows not only the anticonvulsant activity of exogenously applied cannabinoids but also suggests that the brain's cannabinoid system works to limit seizure duration by activating the CB1 receptor.” DeLorenzo said. The study suggested that the use of cannabinoids can provides unique advantages in treating seizures in comparison with current anticonvulsant drug treatments.
Cancer
According to statistic, in the US alone, an estimated of 1,665,540 people will be diagnosed with cancer, with 585,720 cancer deaths in 2014. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. While cures are yet to be found, scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has identified cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant could stop metastasis in a number of aggressive cancers and has the potential of the eliminating the fatality of the disease.
The research combined cannabidiol with cells containing a gene called ID-1, which causes cancer cell to spread across the entire body, on a petri...

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