what are the advantages and disadvantags of legalising the use of marijuana *for medical purposes?
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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Legalising The Use Of Marijuana For Medical Purposes
Gone are the days when people used to die suffering from diseases under the absence of medicine and treatment. In the last decade, field of science and medicine has led to several innovations and modification in medicine and treatment process. Enhanced technology has helped to take the best out of plants and drugs that have been used illegally for recreational purposes since several years, and hence a debate all over the world has cropped up regarding making certain drugs legal so that it can be used in the field of medicine (Temple et al. 238-44). One of such plan/drug is marijuana. According to SAMHSA, 2014, marijuana is among the popular illicit drug in the United States and basically used by young people.
The hemp plant, Cannabis sativa is the source of marijuana, which are basically the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds. Marijuana has been found relieving certain illness due to presence of certain chemicals. A lot of states have already legalized marijuana for medical use. For instance, laws regarding the use of marijuana for the treatment of various medical conditions have already been passed by20 states and Washington, DC since 1996. However, it must be noted that no changes have been brought into the marijuana laws by these state, they have still kept the fact open and clear that usage of marijuana is an offense under Federal law.
The aim of this study is to discuss about the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
MARIJUANA AND ITS BENEFITS
While discussing about the advantages of legalizing the use of marijuana in the field of medicine it is very essential to know all the aspects that makes it beneficial for people and their health (Moore et al. 319-328).
MARIJUANA HELPS IN THE TREATMENT OF GLAUCOMA
Glaucoma is an eye disease where the pressure in the eyeball increases, hence damages the optic nerve and leads to loss of vision. However, according to National Eye Institute its treatment is possible with marijuana. It reduces the intraocular pressure (IOP) of glaucoma patients and also slows down the progression of the disease, hence prevents blindness (Merritt et al. 40-1).
A CHEMICAL FOUND IN MARIJUANA STOPS CANCER FROM SPREADING.
In 2007, a research was conducted by California Pacific Medical Center according which a chemical CBD which is found in marijuana might prevent the spreading of cancer. A gene called Id-1is turned off my CBD that stops cancer. Breast cancer cells having high expression levels of Id-1 were studied in the lab and when treated with cannabidiol or CBD, it showed decreased Id-1 expression. It was also to be less aggressive spreaders (Hollister 5-27).
THE PROGRESSION OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IS SLOWED DOWN BY THC
THC is a mind-altering active chemical (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) present in marijuana, which by blocking the enzyme present in the brain, slows down the formation of amyloid plaques. Therefore, helps to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
DISADVANTAGES OF MARIJUANA
Although the states wishes to make marijuana legalized for medicinal purposes, after studying all the clinical evidence about smoked marijuana, the US National Institutes of Health concluded that there has been no such scientific evidence that proves smoking marijuana or marijuana pills are medically superior to the present available therapies. According to the US National Institutes of Health conclusion, marijuana should not be legalized (Abrams et al. 258-66).
SHORT-TERM MEMORY PROBLEMS
Marijuana leads to problems like short-term memory, however if a person quits smoking marijuana this problem is solved. Just like cigarettes it also leads to lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases (Hollister 27).
LONG-TERM USAGE OF MARIJUANA CAUSES ADDICTION.
There are numerous side effects of marijuana, and the primary one is addiction. It becomes very difficult to quit as it leads to insomnia, decreased taste, bad temper and anxiety all which makes a person demand for it more. Depression, anxiety, suicidal desire and schizophrenia are the other harmful effects of excessive usage of marijuana (Ersche et al. 601-604).
MAKING MARIJUANA LEGAL WOULD MEAN LOT OF LEGAL DRAWBACKS.
For instance, people, doctors will take advantage of its legalization by using it for recreational purpose under the name of treatment. Hence, regulating the legalization will become very tough as there will always be chances of prescriptions being ended up in the wrong hands (Lynskey 433-443).
Further, it would become very easy and convenient for drug dealers to escape prosecution for trafficking and dealing drugs if marijuana for medical purposes is legalized. Already marijuana is used for recreational purpose by the young as well as old people, which is highly increasing and leading to various risk for health and society, thus in this situation legalization of marijuana would cause more chaos and crime.
If we summarize this whole paper, we come up with the following key points:
Marijuana has chemical compounds that definitely help in various medical conditions.
Various studies shows that marijuana helps in relieving several illness and symptoms, on the other hand illicit uses of this drug cannot be overlooked.
Though it has various medicinal benefits yet there is no such evidence that proves marijuana to be the most effective treatment.
At the end of this study we can conclude that there are advantages and disadvantages of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes (Mead 151-153). Hence, at this time the best method to address this issue is by conducting more thorough and involved research, which basically concentrates on the importance and efficiency of marijuana as medical purpose, but keeping its harmful aspects in mind.
Abrams D, Hilton J, Leiser R, Shade S, Elbeik T, et al. Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with HIV-Infection. Annals of Internal Medicine. (2003) : 258-66. Print.
Moore THM, Zammit S, Lingford-Hughes A, Barnes TRE, et al. Cannabis Use and Risk of Psychotic or Affective Mental Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. The Lancet (2007): 319-328. Print.
Hollister L. Marijuana (Cannabis) as Medicine. Journal of Cannabis Therapuetics (2001) : 5-27. Print.
Lynskey, M.T. and Hall. W.D. The Effects of Adolescent Cannabis Use on Educational Attainment: A Review. Addiction. (2000) : 433-443. Print.
Merritt JC, Olsen JL, Armstrong JR, McKinnon SM. Topical delta 9‐tetrahydrocannabinol in hypertensive glaucomas. J Pharm Pharmacol. (1981). 40‐1 Print.
Temple EC, Brown RF, Hine DW. The ‘grass ceiling’: limitations in the literature hinder our understanding of cannabis use and its consequences. Addiction. (2011). 238–44. Print.
Ersche KD, et al. Abnormal brain structure implicated in stimulant drug addiction. Science. (2012). 601–604. Print.
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