From chronic pain to anorexia there may be a type of wonder medicine that can be of assistance. This medicine, however, is looked upon in many different ways in the United States. The drug, only have been studied a few times, lacks an extensive amount of research. Marijuana, a debatable prescriptive but most importantly illicit drug, may have the potential to become a widespread legal and acceptable medicine in the near future.
History and THC
Marijuana has been around for a long time. It did not rise to popularity in the United States until the mid to late 1900’s. It especially became even more popular with the hippie movement of the 1970’s. The Rastafarians brought it with them from Jamaica over to the U.S. The Rastafarians used marijuana for religious rites and named it the “wisdom weed” because it gave them the power of spiritual wisdom. The government began to see marijuana use as a problem. However, prohibition of marijuana was not tried at first because it was initially thought to be unconstitutional (Boss, 2010, p. 278). The war on drugs was started soon after and marijuana was said to be a harmful drug when it was grouped with the harder illicit drugs because of the chemicals found in it. Delta 9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main ingredient in marijuana cited for its dangerous abilities. THC creates a psychoactive euphoric effect that the government vies as a possible threat to public safety. It mainly affects the central nervous system which then triggers the potentially good or bad psychological side effects (“Med. Marijuana and the mind”, 2010). Even though marijuana could be dangerous and is still legal in the U.S. it remains the third most frequently used drug in America behind alcohol and tobacco (Boss, 2010, p. 278)
Current Laws and Regulations
Some speculate that our country is far behind on the issue of legalization of marijuana. In general, marijuana was made illegal in 1937 by federal law of the United States. In recent years states have challenged the federal law with their own laws. In present day fourteen states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Some states are set up to vote on medical marijuana in the fall of 2010 and one state, California, will even vote on the issue of legalization of marijuana for recreational use for persons over the age of twenty-one. However, while some states say it is legal to medically use marijuana the federal government disagrees and is still conducting thorough drug busts. According to Drugpolicy.org, marijuana is still classified as a schedule I drug which means it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse (“Med. Marijuana”, 2010). Some advocates are fighting for a reclassification claiming marijuana does have some medical power.
Pros and Cons
There are numerous benefits and disadvantages of marijuana. Medical marijuana itself generates an estimate of one billion dollars per year. If California does vote to legalize marijuana for...