The Many Benefits of Medical Marijuana

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Marijuana has many health benefits, ranging from pain relief to halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (Medical Benefits of Cannabis). What other medicine is there that has such a wide range of healing properties? There certainly is not a manufactured medicine on the market that aids so many different types of ailments with one medication, as Marijuana. Using Marijuana for medical reasons has less bad side effects and more positive medical uses than any single synthetic pharmaceutical on the market. My position on this topic will be that Marijuana should be legalized and more easily obtained for people who have chronic illnesses and that can benefit from this natural medicine.
There are many medications on the market today for just about every type of ailment. They may work for a single illness but the side effects of most of these medications are worse than the illness they are intended to treat. For instance the medication (used to treat Alzheimer’s) Exelon® (rivastigmine) side effects include but are not limited to; Severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, Depression, Hallucinations, Aggressiveness, a dangerously slow heart rate (bradycardia), Stomach or intestinal ulcers, Seizures, Uncontrollable body movements or twitches and can cause other lifelong illnesses such as; Hypothyroidism, Diabetes and Glaucoma(What is Exelon?). This medication only treats the symptoms; it does not halt the progression of Alzheimer’s.
A compound found in Marijuana called Cannabidiol, has successfully treated memory loss in Laboratory mice and researchers say that the compound is not a hallucinogen (Alzheimer). Are the risks really worth the benefits when there is an all-natural medicine out there that can halt the progression of this disease?
Compare marijuana to your everyday painkillers that doctors prescribe daily to their patients. A common pain killer is Vicodin® (Hydrocodone/APAP), Vicodin has been shown to cause severe liver damage and has been under a lot of scrutiny by the FDA, it was even considered being pulled off of the market for a short time in the United States(Harris, 2009) due to its harmful side effects. Vicodin is the most abused drug of all prescription painkillers on the market, pain killers contribute to three quarters of all prescription drug abuse (International Statistics). Prescription painkillers also cause extreme withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly, as soon as 6 to 12 hours after stopping the medication if not titrated off it (Vicodin Addiction and Treatment). Marijuana does not cause any withdrawal symptoms in most individuals even after long-term heavy use (Myths and Facts About Marijuana). There has been some concern that smoking marijuana causes lung cancer. A study done by Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years, disproves this myth. The study suggests that marijuana might actually have a protective effect and does not cause lung...

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