About Medical Marijuana EssayMarijuana is medicine. It has been used for thousands of years to treat awide variety of ailments. Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L. ) was legal in theUnited States for all purposes – industrial and recreational, as well asmedicinal until 1937.
Today, only eight Americans are legally allowed to use marijuana as medicine. NORML is working to restore marijuana’s availability as medicine. MedicinalValue Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeuticallyactive substances known. No one has ever died from an overdose. It is alsoextremely versatile.
Four of its general therapeutic applications include: relief from nausea andincrease of appetite; reduction of intraocular (“within the eye”) pressure;reduction of muscle spasms; relief from mild to moderate chronic pain. Marijuana is often useful in the treatment of the following conditions:Cancer: Marijuana alleviates the nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite causedby chemotherapy treatment. AIDS: Marijuana alleviates the nausea, vomiting,and loss of appetite caused by the disease itself and by treatment with AZT andother drugs. Glaucoma: Marijuana, by reducing intraocular pressure, alleviates the pain andslows or halts the progress of the disease. Glaucoma, which damages vision bygradually increasing eye pressure over time, is the leading cause of blindnessin the United States.Order now
Multiple Sclerosis: Marijuana reduces the muscle pain and spasticity caused bythe disease. It may also relieve tremor and unsteadiness of gait, and it helpssome patients with bladder control. Multiple sclerosis is the leading cause ofneurological disability among young and middle-aged adults in the United States. Epilepsy: Marijuana prevents epileptic seizures in some patients. Chronic Pain: Marijuana reduces the chronic, often debilitating pain caused bya variety of injuries and disorders. Each of these uses has been recognized as legitimate at least once by variouscourts, legislatures, government, or scientific agencies throughout the UnitedStates.
Currently, such well respected organizations as the National Academy ofSciences (1982), the California Medical Association (1993), the Federation ofAmerican Scientists (1994), the Australian Commonwealth Department of HumanServices and Health (1994), the American Public Health Association (1995), theSan Francisco Medical Society (1996), the California Academy of FamilyPhysicians (1996), as well as several state nursing associations have supportedthe use of marijuana as a medicine. In addition, anecdotal evidence exists that marijuana is effective in thetreatment of arthritis, migraine headaches, pruritis, menstrual cramps, alcoholand opiate addiction, and depression and other mood disorders. Marijuana couldbenefit as many as five million patients in the United States. However, except for the eight individuals given special permission by thefederal government, marijuana remains illegal-even as medicine! Individualscurrently suffering from any of the aforementioned ailments, for whom thestandard legal medical alternatives have not been safe or effective, are leftwith two choices: Continue to suffer from the effects of the disease; or Obtainmarijuana illegally and risk the potential consequences, which may include: aninsufficient supply because of the prohibition-inflated price or unavailability;impure, contaminated, or chemically adulterated marijuana; arrests, fines, courtcosts, property forfeiture, incarceration, probation, and criminal records. Background:The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 established the federal prohibition of marijuana.
Dr. William C. Woodward of the American Medical Association testified againstthe Act, arguing that it would ultimately prevent any medicinal use of marijuana. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 established five categories, or”schedules,” into which all illicit and prescription drugs were placed.
Marijuana was placed in Schedule I, which defines the substance as having a highpotential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in theUnited States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. This definition is simply not accurate. However, at the time of the ControlledSubstances Act, marijuana had been illegal for more than 30 years. Itsmedicinal uses had been forgotten and its “reefer madness” stigma was stillprevalent. Marijuana’s medicinal uses were rediscovered as a result of the tremendousincrease in the number of recreational users in the 1970s: Marijuana’spopularity compelled many scientists to study its health effects.
Theysubsequently discovered marijuana’s remarkable history as a medicine, inspiringmany studies of its therapeutic potential; Many recreational users who alsohappened to be afflicted with conditions for which marijuana has therapeuticpotential inadvertently discovered its medicinal benefits. As the news spread, the number of patients illegally using marijuanamedicinally began to increase. Because marijuana is a Schedule I substance,however, doctors were not allowed to prescribe it, and research approval andfunding were severely restricted.The Struggle In Court:In 1972, NORML initiated .