The use of medical marijuana has been a controversial issue since it has been suggested as a method for use as medication. Despite its dissention, it comes by patient recommendation and Doctors prescribe it to their patients based on its medical benefits.
Marijuana has been classified as a Controlled Substance and there have been statements that it is a “gateway drug,” in spite of the accusations against it, patients who use medical marijuana opinions differ greatly. Although documented studies exist weighing the benefits or non-benefits of medical marijuana, it is heartfelt that it should be legalized on the basis that it helps those who are critically ill to cope with various side effects of the diseases like AIDS, Cancer, and Multiple Sclerosis by alleviating pain, vomiting, and nausea.
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While many patients are afflicted with side effects from the medications that are used to treat their diseases, the United States Government approved marijuana in pill form called “marinol” which is available as a prescription and has been proven to not be as effective due to the synthetic ingredient known as delta-9-THC.
Whereas, marijuana derived directly from the plant has the original ingredient of delta-9-THC which works with the body’s natural endorphins by working in direct correlation of the body’s opioids receptor system and creating benefits to the patients who use it be restoring ailing patients to some quality of life, while battling these life altering diseases.
In 1997, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy asked the Institute of Medicine to “review the scientific evidence on the potential health benefits and risks of marijuana” as a gateway drug. To the White House’s surprise and to the benefits of those who desperately need medical marijuana, the Institute of Medicine proclaimed “that marijuana usually precedes rather that follows initiation of other illicit drug use. ” The Institute of Medicine also states that “most users of illicit drugs had already used alcohol and nicotine while underage, before the use of marijuana. ” In the opinion of the Institute of Medicine they feel that “because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common and rarely the first “gateway” to illicit drug use. In the studies completed by the Institute of Medicine they “found no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the direct abuse of other illicit drugs. ” The American College of Physicians also “urges the review of marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance and its reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence concerning marijuana’s safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions. In simpler terms the Institute of Medicine found no linkable evidence to “marijuana” being a gateway drug as most have claimed, stating that “most users of illicit drugs began using either alcohol or nicotine even before the legal age limit,” therefore stating that “they would not consider marijuana as a gateway drug. ” Maybe the Institute of Medicine reaffirms some of the findings, studies, perceptions, and or opinions of others who agree that medical marijuana has some positive benefits.
According to Medical Doctor and Former United States Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders asserts that “the evidence is overwhelming how marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, and AIDS or by the harsh drugs used to treat the diseases. ” Dr. Elders firmly states “that marijuana can safely alleviate such symptoms in chronically ill patients and that marijuana is less toxic than many of the medications that Physicians prescribe their patients. The Institute of Medicine contributed information upon a study they completed called “The Efficacy of Cannabinoid Drugs” which is a study completed on the effects of cannabinoids on a range of symptoms in multiple patients who used medical marijuana. Their findings revealed that the cannabinoids were “effective in anxiety reduction, appetite stimulation, nausea reduction, and pain relief. ” The Institute of Medicine strongly suggested that “cannabinoids would be well suited for particular conditions like chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and in the AIDS wasting syndrome.
A study completed at the University of California at San Francisco “found that smoked marijuana was more effective at relieving extreme pain in a debilitating condition known as peripheral neuropathy, as well as those patients who have diabetes and multiple sclerosis. To gain a better understanding of how cannabinoids work, they work with specific endo- cannabinoids and are produced by the body and also interact with the body’s natural pain receptors. Based upon the opinion of Doctor Gregory T. Carter, who is Co-Director at the University of Washington Medical Center Muscular Dystrophy Association says that there are really no other medications that have the same mechanisms of actions as marijuana, although “Marinol” is available by prescription but lacks the advantages by containing only a synthetic ingredient of delta-9-THC, which is only one of many therapeutically beneficial cannabinoids found in the natural marijuana plant. ” An advocate for the medical use of marijuana named Rudolph J. Gerber cited a number of independent studies that coincide with the therapeutic uses of marijuana in symptoms affiliated with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Tourette’s syndrome and even anxiety.
In Mr. Gerber’s citing he found that marijuana’s health benefits were greater opposed to those found in Marinol like “the onset of relief from the capsule which takes an hour or more, as with the effects of smoking marijuana are only within minutes. ” Marinol which is oral form of marijuana and contains delt-9-THC which is metabolized through the liver and neutralizes more than 90 percent of the chemical, while smoked marijuana contains the direct ingredient of delta-9-THC providing the ingredient direct delivery to the bloodstream. Lastly, “an oral dose of Marinol lasts up to six unpredictable hours, with variable effects, while smoked marijuana lasts a more manageable and predictable hour or two.
Overall the benefits of patient using medical marijuana personally out way the recourse of prescription drugs and all of its side effects. Consider this if you know someone personally who is battling a critically illness and regular prescribed Medications do not suffice, and the patient has to deal with the adverse side effects of the prescribed medications would medical marijuana be an alternative to consider? Would you advocate for the use of medical marijuana to help provide relief to a loved one from crippling side effects of prescribed medication? If so, I urge you today to consider the medical benefits of medical marijuana. Consider how medical marijuana can alleviate pain, and stop vomiting, and relieve nausea by creating relief to a patient who is battling a life altering disease. Just consider the option of medical marijuana!
- http://medicalmarijuana. procon. org/view. resource. php? resourceID Retrieved from www. procons. org
- Gerber, Rudolph J. Beneficial Effects of Marijuana as a Medical Prescription. " Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.
- Rpt. in Marijuana. Ed. Joseph Tardiff. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Contemporary Issues Companion. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Retrieved from http://ic. galegroup. com. proxy. cecybrary. com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/Viewpoints
- Grinspoon, Lester. "Medical Marijuana Is an Effective Medicine. " Medicine. Ed. Louise Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Marijuana
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