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Medical marijuana is one of the many controversial issues in society today. Medical marijuana has been continuous fight between the federal government, doctors, and patients. On another hand, studies have proven that medical marijuana can be extremely beneficial in eliminates side effect and is less addictive than pain medication. Marijuana should be available as medical resources for individuals that are suffering from illnesses or conditions that prescription medication has failed to help.
Currently, thirty states have legalized medical marijuana in the United States. From a state position it is now legal to buy, possess, and consume medical marijuana. On another hand, all of these activities are still federally illegal. The thirty states are good examples of how laws would work. State laws resemble somewhat of federal alcohol laws. You must be 21 years of age to purchase or sale marijuana. It is a felony for anyone to give or sale marijuana with anyone under 21. One ounce of marijuana per individual is the limit of buying and possessing. All retailers could only sell in the hours between 8 a.m. and midnight (Calkins).
According to Times Magazine, Colorado marijuana DUIs are down 33.2 % in the first quarter of 2017. (Abrams) From January to March of this year 150 people received citations for being under the influence of marijuana while driving (NHTSA). Even though the laws for cannabis and alcohol might be similar, studies clearly show that alcohol contributes to more fatal accidents. Laws like these will help guide us in the right direction.
Also, some common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control, nausea, appetite suppressant, and inflammation. Even though marijuana isn’t strong enough to treat extreme pain such as post-surgical pain. It is still effective for chronic pain that millions of Americans have. In some studies marijuana has known to be effective to help ease pain and stimulate appetite. Some cancer patients claim that marijuana allows them to return to daily activities without feeling discomfort. According to the American Cancer Society, articles on Marijuana and Cancer states, studies of smoked marijuana found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
Also, the studies have found that it helps with neuropathy pain which is pain caused by damaged nerves (American Cancer Society). We can all relate to cancer in one way or another. We either have family members, friends or acquaintances that has been diagnosed with this awful disease. Approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes (National Cancer Institute). With these alarming numbers we should have the resources to subside the side effects from chemotherapy. One could only imagine your love one suffering from painful chemo and not being able to comfort them.
Many diseases cannot be cured but doctors keep prescribing pain medication that cause serious internal damage. Vicodin (opioids) is the most abused drug of all prescription medication on the market. Even though 140 million Americans die each day from opioid overdoses (DEA). Prescription painkillers also cause extreme withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly. Marijuana does not cause any withdrawal even in long term user. The Drug Enforcement Agency notes that no death from a cannabis overdose has ever been reported. The abuse of opioids has escalated in the last several years. The safety of medical marijuana compared to pain medications seems clear. Marijuana has a much lower risk of dependency than opioids and no fatal overdose. Clearly, medical marijuana defeats pain medication (opioids) hands down.
Finally, how can a society that allows the consumption of alcohol which kills thousands each year in traffic fatalities and allows doctors to prescribe opioids knowing the risk of dependency. Medical marijuana is still not legal. Marijuana may have a bad stigma, but in medical situations we should have all medical resources available including marijuana. With all the knowledge and benefits of marijuana we have question why isn’t it legal?
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