The Many Benefits of Medicinal Marijuana
When the religious leaders of Nicholas Copernicus' time excommunicated him for his radical studies, they ignorantly dismissed a brilliant idea. The idea that the earth revolved around the sun inherently brought controversy upon the traditional styles of science. A controversy our leaders need to examine is the medical use of marijuana. Instead of banning marijuana and ignoring the public voice, our representatives need to examine the facts and effects of marijuana for medical use. Like Copernicus' idea that revolutionized science, changing the way we treat our sick and suffering will benefit our society. The effects of legalizing marijuana for only medical purposes will stop unnecessary legal action and it will change the way doctors treat a number of serious ailments.
At the turn of the century, rumors equated marijuana "as a substitute for the opiates and alcohol", thus leading to The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. It was instated with little public notice and without research on the effects of the drug. The Act led to further myths such as the "gateway" term, which describes marijuana as a drug that leads to more dangerous drug abuse. Since the time our representatives took the uneducated initiative to ban the drug for medical purposes, it has been tested and found innocent of addictive qualities (Bonnie and Whitebread 4).
"The best established use of smoked marijuana is an anti-nauseate for cancer chemotherapy. During the 1980's, smoked marijuana was shown to be an effective anti-emetic in six different state-sponsored clinical studies involving nearly 1,000 patients" (Randall 217-243). According to Peter McWilliams, an AIDS and cancer patient, marijuana gave him the most relief during the treatment processes (National Review). International and national doctors also support the use of the drug to help patients. "Marijuana is one of the least toxic substances in the whole pharmacopoeia," according to Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, emphysema, and many others patients could have their quality of life improved with the help of marijuana (Institute of Medical Marijuana).
The current state of laws forces desperately ill citizens to find relief on the streets at the risk of being jailed. "You never know what potency you are going to get or where it has come from," stated Joyce Turcotte, a former cancer patient who took the advice of her doctor. Her doctor told her to smoke the drug if she has access to it. Currently, the federal government is attacking chronically ill patients for the recommended use of marijuana. McWilliams is currently facing the idea that he might spend the next ten years in jail. The problem arose when he vocalized his means of aquiring the drug. The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles is...