Medical Marijuana: A Natural Alternative Essay

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Five year old Charlotte suffers from a rare genetic disorder. In her short life, she has had as many as 300 grand mal seizures in one week, she was confined to a wheel chair, has gone into cardiac arrest and could barely speak. Her doctors were at a loss as to what to do and out of ideas on how to help her. Her mother had heard of the treatment of seizures using cannabinoids, a chemical compound found in marijuana, and as a last resort at saving her little girl, she decided to give it a try. Only two years later Charlotte is almost completely seizure free. She is able to walk, talk and feed herself. Her family has now relocated to Colorado where they are able to legally obtain the specific strain of cannabinoid found in medicinal marijuana that has come to save young Charlotte’s life (“Moving for Marijuana”). This story is not a unique one. Not only have families with young children with seizures disorders found relief and healing, but so many others suffering from anything from chronic pain to depression have benefited from this plant. Medicinal marijuana is a better, safer and sometimes more effective form of treatment than many medications prescribed by doctors today.
America has had a long love-hate relationship with marijuana. Apprehension surrounding marijuana began in the 1930’s when researchers linked the plant with violence and an increase of crime. It was during the thirties that the well-known film Reefer Madness was created sending panic and fear of this plant throughout the states. In the 1960’s Presidents Kennedy and Johnson commissioned reports that found marijuana did not indeed bring violence nor did it lead to other heavier drugs. President Nixon, in the 1970’s, was encouraged by congress to decriminalize the personal use of marijuana (“Marijuana Timeline Busted”). Nixon declined and subsequently declared “war on drugs”. It was during the 1970’s when the CSA (Controlled Substance Act) placed marijuana in the Schedule I category (ProCon). In the 1980’s medical research studies proved that marijuana was indeed beneficial for medical purposes, but it was also in the 80’s when stricter laws were passed penalizing those who possessed it (ProCon). In 1990 a survey was conducted of nearly 600 Oncologists regarding the use of marijuana in cancer chemotherapy patients. A surprising 43% said that they had recommended marijuana to one or more patients and 63% agreed that marijuana would be medically beneficial (Kleiman and Doblin, qtd. in ProCon). In 1992 two scientists positively identified a natural THC chemical that our brains produce, called endocannabinoid (Brown, qtd. in ProCon). Since 1988, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Judge Francis Young, the American Medical Student Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, the American College of Physicians (ACP), as well as several Governors from a number of states have all petitioned the U.S. courts to reschedule marijuana to a Schedule II drug which...

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