Medical Marijuana Policy Essay

1595 words - 7 pages

Introduction
In the United States, marijuana for medical purposes has gained more prevalence in current political discourse than in previous years. Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a flowering plant that originally came from South and Central Asia. For centuries, the cannabis plant has been used for many natural products such as seed oils, seed, fiber that is used to make hemp products and contains over four hundred chemicals, some of which have an antibiotic like effect (Nordqvist, 2013). Studies have shown that two of the chemicals, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), have a positive effect on humans for mild to moderate painkilling effects and sedative effects (Nordqvist, 2013). The purpose of this paper is to discuss and analyze Medical Marijuana Policy utilizing the benefit-allocation framework.
Policy Analysis
Although Cannabis remains a federally controlled substance, the Controlled Substances Act has made medical marijuana policy discretionary among the states and local governments (Smithon, 2012). Highly selective regulations have been implemented by those states that authorize marijuana for medical purposes in order to prevent trafficking or other modes of abuse. Currently there are twenty-one states that have approved this policy including Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey (Smithon, 2012).
Who?
Patients that are suffering from chronic illnesses can benefit from medical marijuana’s analgesic and therapeutic advantages (Smithon, 2012). Some illnesses include chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, symptoms of cancer, HIV disease and AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma, arthritis, depression, anxiety, Hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What?
Extreme weight loss is prevalent in late stage cancer and advanced human immunodeficiency disease (AIDs), (Grant, Atkinson, Gouaux & Wilsey, 2012). Medical side effects that cause nausea and vomiting have been helped with marijuana treatment due to the improvement of appetite that is associated with the use of this drug (Grant et al., 2012). Other benefits range from reduction in muscle and joint pain in arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and reduced risks of blindness in individuals suffering from glaucoma (Smithon, 2012).
How Delivered?
Since government funding is not permitted, private dispensaries are generally set up to administer marijuana prescriptions with varying levels of restrictions ranging from strict to almost nonexistent (Kleber & Dupont, 2012). Physicians may issue a “marijuana card” to patients who apply for drug treatment programs within their authorized state of residence and processed for approval or denial (Harding, 2013). Conventional pharmacies cannot administer marijuana prescriptions; therefore insurance companies do not cover it. Patients have the option of having a personal supply (if approved in their state) or the use a dispensary facility.
How financed?
The dispensaries are owned and operated by private...

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