Marijuana as MedicineNearly everyone in the United States has been or will be affected by cancer or AIDS in one way or another. Working at a hospital I see cancer and AIDS patients on a regular basis. The sight of a nauseous, miserable patient never fails to evoke my sympathies. Not only is the patient suffering, but also their families. What could be worse than watching a family member waste away in pain?Years of research has proven that marijuana can be a vital ingredient in alleviating pain and nausea. When nausea is relieved, patients are able to eat and keep food down. Many oncologists turn a blind eye to their patients use of Marijuana, while others quietly encourage them. When I was fifteen a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. He went through surgery and then pleaded with me to stay with him through Chemotherapy. I sat by the bed, holding his hand and watched as the poisons went to work. He became so ill that at one point the doctor actually told him to have friends buy him street Marijuana. This compassionate doctor told him to close the door and open the hospital windows and he would look the other way. Harvard researchers asked 2,430 oncologists their views on Marijuana. Of the 1,035 that responded, 50% said they have suggested Marijuana to at least one of their patients, and would prescribe it if it became legal. In 1985 the FDA approved the drug Marinol which contains synthetic THC, the main ingredient in Marijuana. Marinol has been effective but is so concentrated that it usually hits a patient like a ton of bricks.Most patients do not necessarily want the "high" that Marijuana causes, they simply want the relief it gives from pain and nausea.
Recently, "Medical Marijuana" was approved by both the California Senate and Assembly then later vetoed by Governor Wilson. As of 1990, there were only about twelve people who had government permission to smoke Marijuana for its medical value. In 1990 a couple in Panama City, Florida were arrested for using Marijuana for symptoms of AIDS, they fought back and are now among the handful of people permitted to use it legally. Marijuana has also shown to reduce eye swelling in glaucoma patients, relaxes muscles of Multiple Sclerosis patients and relieves pain in patients with migraines and other types of chronic pain. The Drug Enforcement Agency is opposed to Marijuana as medicine because of the ability to control sales and dosage. Marijuana has never directly caused anyone s death, nor is it as addictive as alcohol or tobacco, yet both are legal. The DEA has a right to be concerned which is why many think that Marijuana should be legalize but controlled by the government. This would end the careers of many dealers and give the US the opportunity to create enormous revenue. Most patients are willing to pay tax on the privilege of controlling their own relief. The billions of dollars spent annually on the futile attempt to control Marijuana could be put to better use, such as cancer and AIDS research. Oncologists I have asked have secretly told me that they quietly condone Marijuana for their patients and that their patients comfort is their main concern. There has been progress in legalization, although slow. Until there is a cure for AIDS and cancer shouldn t we let patients help themselves?by firstname.lastname@example.org