Weeding Through the Debate: Should Medicinal Marijuana be Legal?
Legalize Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes
The debate is hot. Each side has its argument and is ready to fire away with statistics and
facts. Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal purposes? Is marijuana actually safe for the
body? Can marijuana really help patients in need of a pain killer? There are people who support
the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and there are those that are against it. But
the fact is, that marijuana should be legalized. It is not fair to the patients that are in need. There
is a possibility that marijuana could be harmful, but there are many more ways that marijuana
could be a source of help.
There are people in this country that are suffering from pain caused by chemotherapy, and
others whose bodies are full of tightness due to their medical condition. The Los Angeles-based
Americans for Medical Rights, along with many other groups across the nation want marijuana to
be made a Schedule II or III drug. That would mean that it would be able to be legally regulated
and prescribed (Torassa ). Currently it is a Schedule I drug meaning that it has no medical use
approved by the Federal government and is illegal to grow or use.
Marinol, a manufactured pill with the chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active
pain-killing chemical in marijuana), cannot help every patient. Because it is taken orally, it takes
longer to digest and longer to absorb into the bloodstream. Also, it is easier for patients to
overdose on pills than to overdose on smoking actual marijuana. Imitation THC drugs, such as
Marinol, are not going to help everyone. Bill Zimmerman, a member of Californians for Medical
Rights said, This is an attempt to bring medicine to people who are needlessly suffering for lack
of it (CNN The Debate ). Most people get better relief from marijuana than any other drug.
Patients that have no other choice but to smoke marijuana illegally risk arrest and/or fines, can
have their property taken away, or even end up in jail. Now, what is better for a suffering human?
Marijuana or prison?
While there are legitimate reasons to legalize marijuana, there are also possible hazards.
People that believe this say that there is a chance that heavy use could affect male and female
hormones, could cause intense anxiety, panic attacks or paranoia. More short term possible
effects include an increased heart rate, dry throat and mouth, and breathing problems (CNN
Possible Hazardous Effects of Marijuana ). These are very minor, and patients would most
likely rather be relieved by marijuana and endure these effects, rather than not having their pain or
troubles go away. There is no hard evidence that shows that smoking marijuana for medicinal
purposes will hurt the human body. Doctors have to weigh the risks and the benefits, and they
would find that there are more benefits than harms of prescribing marijuana to patients in need.
The possible medical benefits of marijuana are endless. There are so many ways that
smoking marijuana could help the patient in need. Chemotherapy patients could be relieved of
their nausea and vomiting by the THC in marijuana. Also, pretreatment anxiety could be calmed
by smoking a marijuana cigarette. People infected with the AIDS virus could have their appetite
brought back to them and prevent the loss of muscle mass. Marijuana could reduce muscle pain
and spasms, help bladder control, and relieve tremors in multiple sclerosis patients. Epileptic
seizures could be forestalled. Glaucoma is a disease in which the pressure inside the eye could
lead to blindness. Marijuana has the power to lower the pressure here too, possibly preventing
blindness (CNN Medical Conditions That Marijuana Helps ). Any tenseness in the body of a
patient, be it physical or mental, could be reduced or even destroyed by marijuana smoking. With
this many uses for medical marijuana, why is it still illegal?