Medical Marijuana Essay

2664 words - 11 pages

The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes has become an increasingly controversial topic, with many different issues on which people have many different opinions. There is opposition to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because it has the potential to be used incorrectly, however, it must also be considered that there is the potentiality that marijuana could be used in relieving the suffering of many seriously ill patients. Marijuana has been used by people for thousands of years to provide relief from many different serious medical problems. There are many doctors who currently support the effectiveness of using marijuana as treatment for various medical ...view middle of the document...

Also, the Federal Health and Drug enforcement officials feel that by legalizing marijuana, they would be sending the wrong message to young people ("Your Health" 1). Another concern regarding the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes is that there is strong evidence that shows that regular use of marijuana for long periods of time could cause severe lung damage ("Your Health" 3). If the use of marijuana could damage a patient's lungs, then the risk could outweigh the benefit. The strongest point that many make opposing the legalization of marijuana is that there just is no clear evidence that smoking marijuana can help an individual who is ill ("Marijuana for the Sick" 2).The history of the beneficial use of marijuana is a long one. Marijuana is one of the oldest drugs known to man, the use of which has been documented as far back as 2700 B.C. in a Chinese manuscript ("Marijuana" 1) Although no actual studies were performed at the time, the simple fact that marijuana had been used for such an extensive period of time, shows that it can be used as a beneficial substance in helping those who are ailing. There has been research done in more recent times on the effectiveness of marijuana. Many reports are in favor of utilizing medical marijuana. (History in Brief 3). In 1839, a respected member of the Royal Academy of Science, Dr. W. B. O'Shaugnessy, was one of the first in the medical profession, who presented positive facts dealing with marijuana and medicine (History in Brief 3). In one Journal of American Medical Association article, "Marijuana as Medicine, a Plea for Reconsideration" stated that from 1840 to 1900, more than one hundre!d articles by American and European medical journals were published that showed the therapeutic uses of marijuana. At that time marijuana was recommended to stimulate appetites, and relax muscles, so if marijuana was effective in treating those ailments during this time period, then it stands to reason that it should still be effective today. In 1988, Judge Francis Young, an examiner on administrative issues for the Drug Enforcement Agency, recommended that marijuana be reclassified for medical use, because the "current acceptance" of marijuana is present if a "respectable minority" of doctors support it. ("A Doctor's Report" 1). The same Journal of the American Medical Association article, pointed out that even though the medical history of marijuana is five thousand years old, it has almost all been forgotten.Marijuana has already been legalized for medical use by both California and Arizona. In order to be passed, these laws required a majority vote by the public and by Congress that favored the legalization of marijuana. In 1991, eighty percent of the San Francisco voters approved of legalizing marijuana, and seventy-seven percent of Santa Cruz voters also agreed ("History of Medical Marijuana" 1). Since these laws were passed, there is proof of support for the legalization of marijuana for...

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