Want to go smoke a doobie?
Clay Williams English 102
Handling life-threatening illnesses and helping prolong life, our medical community continues to expand our ability to help these two factors. In recent years it has been discovered that the use of Marijuana alleviates several symptoms associated with cancer and AIDS treatments and disorders. Many patients that undergo life-threatening illnesses are forced to choose between breaking the law and suffering through these symptoms. The conditions of AIDS and cancer are life threatening and many are not going to survive its attack. Medicinal marijuana should be legalized so that those who already suffer the disadvantage of disease will not also be forced to suffer treatment symptoms that are easily corrected.
During current history it is interested that the use of Marijuana is even up for debate. In many ways, history tells us that it was an accepted treatment for the alleviation of symptoms. During the one hundred year stint through 1840 till 1940 there was over 100 papers published to prove the effectiveness of marijuana as medical use. . Physicians constantly reported success from the use of the drug in treating some disorders. According to authors, marijuana works by shutting down the nerves that allow pain to be transmitted from the brain to other areas of the body. In addition patients with glaucoma have been proven to have pressure on their eyes relieved with the use of marijuana. In the most recent developments regarding the medicinal use of marijuana it has proven to be a successful appetite stimulant as well as a depression reliever among patients who are fighting AIDS. “In spite of these medical benefits, Congress still refuses to legalize marijuana for medical use, because it is harmful to one ‘s health when smoked (Medical Marijuana Legislation Overdue, 45). ” This argument is ludicrous, considering cigarettes are the leading cause of heart disease and lung cancer. Lets compare the two: How many people have died from Marijuana smoking? How many people have died from cigarette smoking? We can obviously conclude that cigarettes need to be illegal and marijuana legal. There is at least proven medicinal value with smoking marijuana. There is absolutely no medicinal value to be gained by smoking cigarettes.
In 1976, Robert Randell became the first American to gain access to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. (Randall, Robert. Alice O ‘leary, 4). Randell a patient gsuffering from glaucoma fought for the right to use marijuana to treat the eye disease that blinds thousands of Americans each year. He was arrested in 1975 for growing marijuana in his apartment. Randall offers himself as evidence as to the benefits of using marijuana for medicinal purposes. “Instead of dead, I ‘m fat as a Buddha of Happiness and tan as a red man. Living in a condo on Florida’s intercostals waterway (Randall, Robert. Alice O ‘leary, 11)” However, until we made medical marijuana illegal its purpose medicinally was abundant in the 1800’s. If smoking marijuana can help improve any patient in their treatment, such as a chemo patient to continue treatment, or an AIDS patient to eat. These benefits can outweigh numerous legal substances out there today.
Undergoing the process of legalization, many people believe there is always the possibility that users will stretch medical marijuana the parameters of recreational use. This is why I believe that we the medical community should go through serious tests to derive why people need it. The purpose of medical marijuana is to treat patients, not pot heads. The medicinal use of marijuana would be tightly controlled and regulated which would prevent the types of problems that the former drug agents describe to the congressional house. The medicinal use would not allow for perfectly healthy people to smoke and use, but instead would be limited to severely ill patients.
Although there is much talk about the legalization of drugs among the state government there is very little talk about it on the national level. Instead of legalizing, the government has tried to come up with alternatives to marijuana use. They now offer a drug called Marinol, a spherical brown pill containing an artificial version of one of marijuana’s working ingredients. Solely Unimed Inc. in Buffalo Grove, Illinois produces Marinol. The pill sells for about five dollars a tablet, and was sanctioned in 1985 to battle the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. So, just imagine if you were one of those patients waking up everyday taking several dozen pills. You don’t want to add more pills to that sort of regime. More importantly, these pills do not traditionally work as well as the smoked variety. The effect of the pill doesn’t even come close to what the smoked variety amounts to. This difference may be caused by the fact that the pill form is almost exclusively THC with some added things to make it a pill. Natural marijuana has almost 400 additional ingredients and we have no way of knowing which ones are helping the various illness.
Former drug agents have spoken to Congress in an effort to stop the movement to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and cite the carnage and destruction they have witnessed that was caused by drugs (Brooks, 13). However, the medicinal use of marijuana cannot be compared to the addicted crack heads that are living on the street and committing crimes to get their next fix. This also portrays to the amount of deaths teens die due to drunk driving accidents.
As we continue to debate the uses and effects of marijuana as a medicinal treatment many thousands of people are suffering from deliberating disorders that can be life threatening (Groves, 74) In addition, the quality of life for many patients denied the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes suffers. Lately there has been much discussion about the right to die (Groves, 76). Millions of Americans have voiced support in a patient’s right to die if their quality of life promises to be substandard due to a disease or disorder. We look ourselves in the mirror every morning and believe we should be able to choose to go, based on the suffering or quality of life issues we will endure otherwise. Yet, these same people are quick to ban the use of marijuana as a medicinal help. The ironic thing is many of the same diseases and disorders in which the right to use marijuana affects are the same diseases and disorders in which we believe a patient has a right to die from. How is it that a nation can endorse the self destruction, suicide, turning off machines or “letting go” when the end result is the knowledgeable killing of a human being; yet refuse to allow those same patients the right to smoke a joint to alleviate symptoms?
The passage of a bill allowing the medicinal use of marijuana is not going to turn the country into a drug infested free for all. According to some experts we are already there, and according to others it’s a road that will never be crossed. The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes simply allows those suffering from illness to alleviate the suffering, while at the same time trying to find a cure or remedy for their medical condition. I would rather see my loved one smoking a joint then never being able to see them again. Medical marijuana is an option to alleviate a lot of pain in patients, not a source for dieing people to get stoned.
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Brooks, Robert. “Medical Marijuana: Ronald E. Brooks,” Congressional Testimony. April 1997, p. 13-15
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Conrad, Chris; “Hemp for Health : The Medicinal and Nutritional Uses of
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Unknown. “Editorial: Medical marijuana legislation overdue.” University Wire PG, April 1999, p. 31-46
Groves, Bob; “Pot vs. the Pill”, The Record. March 1994, p. 73-81
Lapey, Janet; “Medical Marijuana Testimony,” House Judiciary
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Randall, Robert. Alice O ‘leary. “Marijuana Rx: The Patients ‘ Fight for Medicinal Pot”, Thundermouth Press, 1998, p. 3-11