Medical Marijuana Should Be Legal Essay

918 words - 4 pages

Is it possible for an illegal drug to be deemed legal for medical purposes? Well for an illegal drug like marijuana, that is the question. There are currently many people who use marijuana legally to suppress their illness. Marijuana should be allowed for medicinal purposes.
But one of the arguments is that there are alternatives to using marijuana such as medications that come in pills, solutions, shots, or drops. There is no prescribed drug today that is smoked. Another concern is that marijuana is illegal is the United States. Making it a medicine would require a change in the current law which would have to be voted on by Congress. The biggest and most important argument against marijuana is the negative effects it could have on a person. Marijuana effects coordination and short-term memory which may make it impossible for a person to operate a vehicle or learn anything new. Smoking marijuana could cause lung cancer. Smoking three to five joints a day is equivalent to smoking more than twenty cigarettes a day. But marijuana has many helpful effects also.
Marijuana is a proven agent to prevent nausea in people. In 1985, the FDA approved a synthetic version of the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol(THC). It was approved to combat nausea and vomiting that accompanies chemotherapy. In a 1988 study, 78% of 56 people said that they had received some

relief with marijuana(Fackelmann 15). By inhaling the marijuana, patients can control the dose they need in order to relieve their pain and it also takes affect immediately upon smoking. Pills on the other hand deliver a standard dose which may be too much for some patients and takes awhile to take affect. Many people have heard that marijuana gives a person the “munchies”, but the munchies may be exactly what a person needs in order to live.
Marijuana has been proven to increase appetite which results in a weight gain for the person. For an AIDS patient, gaining weight not losing it is a main focus. In 1992, the FDA approved a pill form of THC called Marinol for AIDS patients who suffer from wasting. In a study of 139 people with AIDS, half of the people were given the Marinol and half were given a placebo. The Marinol significally improved the appetite in AIDS patients(Cowley and Hager 22). Gaining weight and keeping it on for AIDS patients is key in extending their lives. Marijuana has also been proven effective in the fight against the blinding disease glaucoma.
Glaucoma is caused by intense pressure that is built up in the eyes. The end result is blindness. Smoking marijuana relieves this pressure that builds up. In one

study, a woman with glaucoma was given a conventional glaucoma prescription drug and marijuana. By using both these things, the woman reduced the dangerous pressure that had built up in her eyes(Zeese and Ruzzamenti 23). But does this mean that a person has to get high so they don’t go blind? Researcher Paul Palmberg states that a...

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