Recently the dispute over the use of marijuana for medical purposes has grown a great deal. Marijuana is a very beneficial drug and could improve the lives of many very ill people. Marijuana should be legalized for medical use in the United States. This paper is based on the studies conducted by the IOM (Institute of Medicine) and will help to display the actual benefits of marijuana (Mack and Joy 5, 8).
One of marijuana greatest benefits is its ability to increase the overall well being of AIDS patients. More than 60 percent of the members of cannabis buyers’ clubs (medical marijuana shops in California) have joined up for the treatment of AIDS.
“Because HIV attacks the immune system, it wreaks havoc throughout the body. Besides providing a foothold for opportunistic infection and cancer, the virus also triggers a potentially lethal wasting syndrome, painful nerve damage, and dementia. Finally, in addition to the physical discomforts inflicted by HIV, many people with AIDS also struggle with depression and anxiety. Marijuana, some patients say, eases all of these problems and more” (Mack and Joy 86).
A 35-year-old man living in Florida told an IOM panel how before discovering marijuana, HIV had caused him to wasted away to nearly 130 pounds. After discovering marijuana, the man gained back all of the weight he had lost and was in the best shape he had been in since contracting HIV (Mack and Joy 20).
“30 percent of all Americans will” be diagnosed with cancer, and of that 30 percent, nearly two-thirds of them will die from it. It is absolutely necessary for doctors to be able to prescribe the most beneficial drugs (Mack and Joy 95). “The Institute of Medicine, an affiliate of the National Academy of Science, said that marijuana can ease the pain, nausea, and vomiting caused by cancer” (Jet 53). Marinol (a synthetic form of THC) is already being used to treat cancer patients. But with marijuana’s many cannabiniods other than just THC, marijuana could prove to be much more effective (Mack and Joy 144).
Because more than 60 million people are affected by glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in America, having every weapon against this terrible disease is absolutely necessary (Mack and Joy 124). Marijuana has been proven to relieve intraocular pressure (IOP) caused by glaucoma. In multiple clinical studies this has been proven, whether the marijuana was eaten or smoked. A single treatment of marijuana has shown to be effective in the reduction IOP for three to four hours (Mack and Joy 127).
Many people that oppose the use of marijuana to treat illnesses believe legal drugs should be used to treat patients. Though this is a valid argument, it has proven to be very difficult for patients that suffer from multiple symptoms. Although modern medicine has been able to treat many symptoms of illnesses, with each new symptom comes another medication. The problem with taking these medications is that many of them cause side effect. When a patient takes multiple medications he may suffer from multiple side effects. Marijuana is able to treat multiple symptoms such as wasting, nausea, and pain with minimal side effects (Mack and Joy 20).
Marijuana is able to help many people in many different ways and should be able to do so. With the laws that are in place right now, we are turning sick and dying people into criminals. The people of the America should stand together and fight these ridiculous laws. Because if we don’t stand up for the sick, who will?