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Medicinal Marijuana Essay

1174 words - 5 pages

If your every waking moment was consumed by pain and nausea, wouldn't you ask for medication? What if the only medication legally available would leave you unconscious or do nothing at all? If you were the one suffering, would you resort to the only treatment that allowed you to live normally even though it was illegal? Thousands of people across the country are forced to break the law to ease their pain. They have chosen marijuana over anything legally available because it has various medicinal properties that cannot be found anywhere else. Due to these many unique medicinal uses, marijuana should be reclassified as a valid, legal form of treatment.Marijuana has many unique uses as a form of treatment. It has been used effectively to combat the nausea caused by chemotherapy, to reduce the internal pressure of the eyes of glaucoma patients, and to prevent the "wasting syndrome" in AIDS and cancer patients ("Marijuana for the Sick" A10). As an alternative to using actual marijuana, modern science has developed a synthetic form of THC, the active chemical in marijuana. However, this synthetic drug, called Marinol, is useless for most everyday treatment because it has the unpleasant side effect of being a powerful sedative. A member of Milwaukee's AIDS community, said that a friend of his was taking Marinol to increase his appetite: "He spends the whole day laughing and watching movies...He can't even drive a car because he's so out of it." (3/25/97) In addition to that, Marinol only comes in pill form, which makes it useless for patients taking it for nausea. Marijuana has neither of those drawbacks. Because it is usually smoked, even the most nauseous patient can use it as well as easily regulate their intake ("Medical Marijuana" 23). No prescription drug offers the benefits and potential of marijuana.Many people have testified to marijuana's validity as a unique form of treatment. One of these, Robert Randall, one of only eight patients supplied with marijuana by the federal government, was diagnosed with acute glaucoma and told that he would be blinded within five years (Brazaitis 1C). Randall "discovered by accident that smoking marijuana" relieved the internal pressure of his eyes (1C). After more than twenty years of smoking marijuana, Randall still has his vision, defying the predictions of his doctors (2C). Richard Brookhiser, a senior editor of the conservative National Review who has admitted to using marijuana to treat the nausea caused by chemotherapy, claims that "if that moment comes to you, you will turn to marijuana." (Brookhiser 28) Rita Zweig further illustrates marijuana's effectiveness: "If anything that is prescribed worked as well for me," she said, "I wouldn't use marijuana." (Snider A1) These three people represent thousands of sufferers across the country who use marijuana as a form of treatment.Marijuana as a form of treatment has gained support from the medical community. Such prestigious medical publications as the New...

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