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Is Medical Marijuana Real Medicine? Essay

1777 words - 8 pages

What is marijuana? Marijuana comes from a Mexican Spanish translation marihuana. The true term to describe it is cannabis although both words can be used interchangeably. Medical cannabis or marijuana is parts of the plant that is used to help treat a number of ills from a prescribing physician. Now marijuana has been around for thousands of years with the first historical evidence linking it to be used as early as 4000 BC, and the first medical use of it around 3000 BC. The first people to be associated with using cannabis are the Chinese, and were located in Central Asia. There are 2 common species which are used for medical purposes which are cannabis sativa, and cannabis indica. The effects vary from the different strands with the indica strain being more known for night time use due to its sedative effects, while the sativa strain is used during the daytime due to the cerebral high it produces. There are two forms of medical cannabis which can be used by a patient and they are called hashish and marijuana. Marijuana is the most common form of cannabis consumption which is the unprocessed dried leaves and buds of the female plant. One can smoke, or vaporize the dried leaves and buds to achieve the desired effect. Hashish on the other hand is a concentrated resin that comes from the female plant. It is often more potent than marijuana and can be smoked, vaporized, or chewed. The Chinese emperor, Shen Nung is the first person to describe the medical uses and properties of cannabis in a book he wrote in 2737 BC. After its widespread use in China it spread to India where a British physician by the name of William O’Shaughnessy discovered the therapeutic uses for cannabis and wrote a report on it which was then sent back to England. After his report cannabis was soon popularized in Western medicine. In 1854 cannabis was listed in the USA’s Dispensatory, which listed all the existing and discontinued drugs. However after the prohibition of alcohol was removed cannabis was condemned for causing insanity, moral and intellectual regression, and violence. So in 1942 cannabis was removed from the United States Pharmacopoeia, which made it lose medical acceptability. During the 1970’s and 1980’s there were a number of state sponsored studies about medical cannabis that found it to be beneficial to some patients. Today there are 16 states in the USA that allow for the medical use of cannabis. In this paper I will review three main positions on the issue of medical cannabis in the US. First, there are those who use and support medical marijuana as a legitimate form of medicine that is prescribed by a doctor. They feel that the government should not interfere with this issue as it becomes an issue of freedom. Second, there are those who feel strongly that medical marijuana has no legitimate uses in the medical field and therefore it should be barred from the US.
The debate on medical marijuana has been reemerging throughout the country as more and...

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