The Use of Marijuana for Medical Purposes
The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has become a popular way of treating patients with cancer. However, in recent times, some US states have made the use of marijuana legal for recreational as well as medical purposes. This move has led to a nationwide debate as to whether every US state should follow suit. A few states have active laws on medicinal marijuana, but the use and possession of the drug is still classified as illegal by federal government.
Both viewpoints have a lot of supporters, which makes it a popular debate around the country.
Those in favor of legalizing and using medical marijuana include members of the medical professional and some members of Congress. It is widely known that marijuana is very good at alleviating the nausea and vomiting that chemotherapy causes. It can also help relieve the muscular spasms associated with conditions such as paralysis and multiple sclerosis. It is additionally known to help certain types of cancer patients suffering from loss of appetite as well as those undergoing AIDS/HIV treatment. Many people say that marijuana offers a certain amount of relief to those suffering acute or chronic pain. It is considered a lot safer than many of the prescription medicines used to treat precisely the same symptoms. It has also been shown in studies that the smoking of marijuana by itself does not increase the risk of lung disease. Historically, indeed for centuries past, the drug has also been used as a medicinal aid.
People who oppose legalizing marijuana for medical purposes say that using the drug frequently can have grave side effects regarding an individual’s short term recall or memory. They claim too that regular marijuana usage can damage a person’s cognitive abilities. Then there is the viewpoint that smoking anything, whatever the substance and including marijuana, can harm lung tissue at least to some extent. Those who are against legalizing marijuana feel there is not yet enough evidence to prove its effectiveness as a pain treatment. Another argument is the risk that users may abuse or become addicted to it. It is claimed that marijuana contains compounds that cause cancer through the act of smoking it. Additionally, the drug has been associated with a large number of automobile accidents and workplace mishaps.
In terms of clinical trials to assess how effective medical marijuana is or is not, these have been limited and certainly restrictive. That said, the question of whether marijuana should be legalized and its status as a Schedule I substance removed has led to a nationwide debate. To truly determine if it really does make a valuable contribution to managing symptoms and pain, additional studies will need to be undertaken using the same exacting standards that apply to other types of medication. Until or unless that happens, the debate on whether marijuana should or should not be legalized is likely to continue indefinitely.