The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes has become an increasingly controversial topic, with many different issues on which people have many different opinions. There is opposition to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because it has the potential to be used incorrectly, however it is also considered that there is the potential for marijuana to be used in relieving the suffering of many seriously ill patients. Marijuana has been used by people for thousands of years to provide relief from many different serious medical problems. There are many doctors who currently support the effectiveness of using marijuana as treatment for various medical conditions. The many people who are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS have found that marijuana can be a very effective pain and symptom reliever.Order now
The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes is viewed by its opposers as one of the worst things that we could do. Their reasons are that they feel that marijuana should not be legalized for medical use because it is an illegal substance and until that is changed, prescribing it is against the law. “Attorney General Janet Reno announced that physicians in any state who prescribe the drug could lose the privilege of writing prescriptions, be excluded from medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and even be prosecuted for a federal crime” (Kassier 1). Government officials such as Janet Reno are not the only ones to object to the legalization of marijuana. Many parents groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers object to the legalization of marijuana for medical uses. Their objections come from a reasonable concern that there has been an increase in the use of marijuana by youth.
Their concern is expanded since the marijuana of today is much more potent than the marijuana of a few decades ago. The potential for these teens to obtain the drug would increase. Also, the Federal Health and Drug enforcement officials feel that by legalizing marijuana, they would be sending the wrong message to young people (“Your Health” 1). Strong evidence that shows that regular use of marijuana for long periods of time could cause severe lung damage (“Your Health” 3). If the use of marijuana could damage a patient’s lungs, then the risk could outweigh the benefit. Marijuana smoke can be twice as toxic as tobacco smoke to a human lung.
The strongest point that many make opposing the legalization of marijuana is that there just is no clear evidence that smoking marijuana can help an individual who is ill (“Marijuana for the Sick” 2). Countless amounts of research has been done but both sides have countered each other with facts and studies. What are the benefits and what are the clear cut negatives?
The concept of using marijuana for medical use is nothing new. Marijuana is one of the oldest drugs known to man, the use of it has been documented as far back as 2700 B.C. in a Chinese manuscript.
The Chinese would injest or inhale the Marijuana and feel pain relief for headaches and small aches and pains (“Marijuana” 1). The Chinese spread the concept over time, and while it never began a popular drug in most other societies, it still existed and was a common pain reliever. In 1839, a respected member of the Royal Academy of Science, Dr. W. B. O’Shaugnessy, was one of the first in the medical profession, who presented positive facts dealing with marijuana and medicine (History in Brief 3).
His work helped open up the medical world to marijuna’s medical usees. The drug itself was not used as a popular recreational drug at the time and for this reason few saw a problem with using it for medical purposes. From 1840 to 1900, more than one hundred articles by American and European medical journals were published that showed the therapeutic uses of marijuana (Bakalar 2). Marijuana was recommended to stimulate appetites, and relax muscles, so if marijuana was effective in treating those ailments during this time period. Its defenders point out that the drug was praised by the patients and doctors alike. In 1988, Judge Francis Young, an examiner on administrative issues for the Drug Enforcement Agency, recommended that marijuana be reclassified for medical .