About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1025 |
6 min read
Published: Jul 17, 2018
Words: 1025|Page: 1|6 min read
Legalisation of medical marijuana was introduced through an amendment to the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967 on the 10th of February 2016. This resulted in The Narcotic Drug Amendment Bill 2016 which permitted the Commonwealth to allow for cannabis cultivations for medicinal and scientific research purposes.
Amendments have also been made and added under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 which improves the safety and efficacy of medicinal marijuana products, assuring that they are being produced to a quality standard. This is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) who looks after access to therapeutic goods and the quality of the goods.
Medical marijuana refers to the possession, usage and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes. Medicinal marijuana is no different than recreational marijuana but is used for the positive treatments for people who are ill, suffer from painful symptoms, AIDS, glaucoma and cancer, who may request this to alleviate their pain.
Even though medicinal marijuana is the same as recreational marijuana, there are many medical benefits such as the reduction or control of spasms and epileptic seizures, Parkinson’s disease tremors, heals PTSD and alleviated the symptoms from Hepatitis C treatments. The legalisation of medicinal marijuana is beneficial as the TGA found that children and young adults with drug-resistant epilepsy is the largest group to use medicinal marijuana, which helps limit their seizure by up to 50%.
It has already been proven that medicinal marijuana can reduce pain caused by cancer, HIV/AIDS and control severe nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. Additionally, it stimulates appetite as well as inhibition of neurodegeneration which can be used as a treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Medicinal marijuana can be used as a safer alternative for treating the same symptoms. For example, medicinal marijuana can be used instead of opioids for pain management, which are highly addicting and not suitable for long-term use. In a recent study, it was discovered that it was more beneficial and faster to use cannabis for one month to treat opioid-addicted patients than 75% of drugs.
Additionally, pharmaceutical cannabis products contain naturally derived or synthetic forms of cannabinoids which have been clinically trialled and approved. This is particularly important as average the cannabis plant contains 80-100 cannabinoids which can be found in recreational marijuana. However, in medicinal marijuana, there are specific dosages and strains that are targeted specific to the treatment.
Every year, there are about 100,000 Australians who self-medicate using illegally obtained marijuana for medicinal purposes. With the legalisation of Marijuana, less people would feel pressured to attempt these illegal means to obtain marijuana for their intractable medical conditions. Additionally, the strain of marijuana (ratio of THC and CBD) can determine the choice of product to treat the disease. The legalisation of Marijuana leads to doctors being to prescribe the exact product and amount that they can use as well as giving them detailed instructions for proper use.
Cultivation of medicinal marijuana for medicinal purposes can only be done under license issued by the Australian government and permits which limits that amount you are able to product. An ODC licence allows to legally cultivate and produce cannabis and must be paired with a permit which tells you the amount and type of cannabis you are permitted to grow, timeframes and who the medicinal cannabis is for. This makes the product trustworthy, where buyers will be able to know where the medicine that they are using came from.
Medicinal Marijuana can also have negative impacts on health, especially due to the substance THC. THC is a powerful psychoactive which can cause neurological changes, especially in the brain, which causes hallucinations, anxiety and disorganised thoughts and speech.
This overstimulates the cannabinoid receptor in the brain which can create memory, thinking, concentration, coordination and perception problems. Marijuana also affects brain development which may have a lasting or permanent effect, especially those when exposed when young.
A research conducted in New Zealand showed that people who began smoking marijuana before 18 and were addicted by age 38 averaged a loss of 8 IQ points. The loss in cognitive abilities was also not fully restored in those who quit smoking marijuana as adults. Adults who started smoking after 18 – even heavy users- did not show significant declines in IQ.
Furthermore, since there are many forms that medicinal marijuana can take, this puts those unaware or young children at risk of consuming these products. For example, oral options that are used in medicinal marijuana may be mixed up or accidently consumed by younger children. Additionally, there might be different forms of cannabis edibles such as TJC wax, a common substance used by medicinal marijuana patients, which young children may accidentally consume as well.
In addition, though unlikely, there is still a chance where the patients get addicted and consume this due to their addiction and not when the need it. There is also a risk of abuse and addiction as medicinal marijuana is the same substance as normal recreational marijuana. THC interferes with the body’s ability to produce anandamide, which regulates mood, and causes the brain to be dependent on marijuana to feel good which results in addiction.
Marijuana does not leave marks of physical addiction unlike other drugs such as alcohol and heroin such as withdrawals and vomiting. However, it does create a psychological addiction where there may be symptoms such as anxiety, depression and mood swings due to cravings.
Regarding this issue, the legalisation and impacts the medicinal marijuana have some negative impacts such as its influence on health, where smoking marijuana can lead to lower cognitive skills, placing young children at risk as well as the chance or abuse or addiction of the substance.
However, medicinal marijuana contains many medical benefits that can be received such as a reducing pain caused by cancers and acting as a control for nausea caused by chemotherapy. Legalisation of marijuana provides safer options and conditions of use. People are going to use this product either way as it is one of the only treatments to some conditions and it is better to obtain the product through legal means. Doctors can also prescribe and adjust dosages depending on what needs to be targeted.
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