Turning a new leaf

 

 

 

Once seen as a criminalized substance now shows promise to new advances in the medical field. Recent findings support that medical marijuana has positive effects on patients and the medical field. Looking at countless articles we can determine that there is a vast range of diseases that can be treated by medical marijuana. So now the only issue is legalization medically. The problem doesn’t lie within proving that it is good for certain patients but instead separating this argument from recreational legalization. Too many people see medical marijuana legalization has detrimental to morals in society. The government also is skeptical about legalizing it as it is getting pressure from many lobbying companies who would be affected by marijuana legalization. However, we can’t let these issues influence the debate on medical marijuana. These are two separate issues that affect society in different spheres. Medical marijuana is already seen to not only help patients with a multitude of disease but even fund education and reduce the crime rate. The positives greatly outweigh the negatives and with the help of government regulation medical marijuana can bring about a positive change in society. This blog shows that medical marijuana should be legalized because it can treat many diseases and, create a safer environment, and provide funding for communities.

Of course one of the most common diseases marijuana treats is cancer. According to

Cancer.org, marijuana is very useful in easing pain and nausea for patients going through chemotherapy. This could be a much-needed aid to cancer patients who sometimes don’t even want to fight their cancer off cause the pain is so severe. Not only does it help with symptoms but according to Natural Society a new study released by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) shows that medical marijuana can actually be used to help kill cancer cells in your body, This is still relatively new research but this groundbreaking finding can change the way we treat cancers as a whole in the future.

The benefits of medical marijuana continue with the treatment of glaucoma. AAO.org provides a recent study shows that those who used medical marijuana to treat glaucoma were able to relieve symptoms better than prescription medications. However, the study did also show that this relief only lasted for 3-4 hours so to get 24 hours of treatment for glaucoma you would have to smoke 6-8 times a day, making for an unrealistic solution as a cure. We can learn from how it affects the body and hopefully one day be able to modify so that the medication last longer.

Perhaps the most famous positive health effect is medical marijuana ability to stop seizures strange movements due to Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and other terrible diseases. Last year Epilepsy.com collected data on 214 people who used medical marijuana as treatment. They found that 54% saw instant results and got rid of their symptoms after just 5 minutes. You may have seen stories about these miraculous improvements in health on social media as you scroll. One of the famous ones is about a man named Larry who suffers from Parkinson’s. According to Endoca.com/ Larry has tried using countless medications but nothing works effectively against his illness.  A friend suggested medical marijuana and after one use Larry’s symptoms were gone and he was already a believer. Now he even has his own movement called Ride with Larry. You can watch his video on my previous blog at https://groupthreeproj.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/ride-with-larry/.

Medical marijuana can also be used to treat mental illness’s as well. According to mental health information site, Anxietysocial.net, many who suffer from anxiety can use medical marijuana to increase a hormone in the body that relaxes the body and relieves stress. Dopamine is also released and aids to make you happier. Many with PTSD also use medical marijuana to find a relief for their symptoms. Although there is a lot of good one should be warned about medical marijuana and its links to depression. Dailymail.co.uk wrote an article showing that those who smoke often are also linked to a higher rate of depression. Now, these two factors are not directly correlated for there are many reasons one can get depressed. However, there does seem to be an increase in depression within smokers.

The common stereotype that marijuana makes you fat is false. In fact, according to Wakingtimes.com it actually may have the opposite effect. While smoking certain types of marijuana can increase your appetite, marijuana is also found to increase your metabolism as well. It was even found that marijuana could be helped to lose weight as long as you do not let the “munchies” get to you while using cannabis.

 

With so many positive effects one may wonder why marijuana hasn’t been legalized medically yet. Countless bills have been proposed but none have been passed nationally yet. This could first be due to conflicting party interests causing gridlock in congress. When you continue to look deeper we begin to uncover some corruption. The Huffington Post released an article that says that opioid drug companies are lobbying against the legalization of medical marijuana. This does not just pertain to opioid but others like alcohol and tobacco companies as well. This is because they are scared that legalization will affect their profits so they have now begun to use techniques such as lobbying to stop bills being passed. This again shows the issue with medical marijuana getting grouped with recreational use. Someone’s ability to get a substance for medical purposes shouldn’t have anything to do with making a profit. The fear that if medical marijuana is legalized then soon will recreational use as well does not warrant the government halting progress on this bill. If a patient needs a drug the government doesn’t have the right to deny them their medicine because of fear. With government regulation, medical marijuana can help patients and even produce revenue for the country.

 

An example of a positive for the community that comes from medical marijuana revenue is public education. We can see these benefits in the Colorado public school system. The Colorado Government released statistics that in 2015 40 million dollars were put into making and renovating public schools all coming from medical marijuana taxes. Medical marijuana like tobacco and alcohol are subject to higher taxes of about 15 %. These taxes go towards infrastructure and education. Medical marijuana is also responsible for helping our communities to be safer warranting its legalization. Most people see marijuana a drug that only criminals deal with and could not see how it can make a place safer. Contrary to popular belief, Drugpolicy,org says the crime rate in Colorado ( where medical marijuana is legal) has decreased by almost 10%. This is because the government is now regulating this once illegal trade and not only are communities become safer but they are also benefitting from the revenue it provides.

In a nation where the people are supposed to govern over the land it only makes sense that whatever the majority wants is done for the country. The same principle should then apply to medical marijuana. A poll done by Pew research shows that 57% of the public believe that cannabis should be legalized medically. It also seems as the younger generation is pushing for legalization as 71% of millennials want it legalized, and for good purpose, as there are many benefits to medical marijuana as a highlighted by this post. It is only a matter a time before there is an overwhelming majority of the public that is for legalization and a bill is passed.

With overwhelming support, even states once very much against the legalization of medical marijuana has begun to start movements to get the bill passed. One of these states includes North Carolina. After many times of being turned down, it seems that the public will finally be able to vote on this bill. According to Newsobserver.com the Medical Cannabis Act was just passed and will give voters a chance to legalize marijuana medically in the upcoming vote in November 2017. With high voter turnout in the past for medical marijuana bills, it seems that the majority of the public will get what they want and the bill will be passed.

From medical advance to economic advances there are a lot of benefits to legalizing pot. However, there are some arguments against this that do bring up some legitimate reasons for concern. According to news shows The Young Turks it was reported that cannabis use can stunt learning ability and memory retention in frequent adolescent users. Adolescent users are also at greater risk for cannabis dependence when they use it frequently. Finally, a report also stated that marijuana users are subject to a higher chance of getting into an accident after smoking. Although these negatives bring serious concern they are not something the public didn’t already know. Cannabis essentially acts the same way as alcohol in this case. Abuse of medical marijuana will negatively impact your learning abilities but so will alcohol if abused early on in life as well. Some even argue that marijuana is safer than alcohol because you can’t become chemically addicted only dependent. Chemical addiction is worse because that means the body cannot function properly without it. There are no withdrawal symptoms with dependence like there are with addiction. Like with any other drug one should use it responsibly as of course, it is a terrible idea to drive while under the influence. These issues bring no new cause for concern and if used responsibly and regulated well there is essentially no downside for the legalization of marijuana. In fact, the only downside to this issue is that we cannot reap the benefits of medical marijuana sooner due to dragged political process. All signs point to the legalization of medical cannabis in the end but now it is just a matter of when.

 

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2 Comments

  1. I wasn’t aware that there were so many positive side effects of marijuana use. I think this shows both sides of the debate well, but is definitely biased towards the side of legalization. I think it’s significant that the main opposition to legalization of marijuana are companies that benefit from it being illegal. Are there other reasons that other groups might be opposing the medical legalization? I would like to know more about the other side of the debate!

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  2. I think your absolutely right. I have been trying to right without too much bias but it is hard when you believe strongly about something. In terms of other groups that oppose legalization there are many. First are a lot of parents who don’t want there kids to be involved with drug use. Again that is a recreational problem and not medical. The public is generally concerned about safety as people may began to smoke and drive and do daily things after smoking. These can be potentially dangerous to a community but just like alcohol people need to be responsible. just like you wouldn’t drink and drive you shouldn’t smoke and drive as well. Previously mentioned as well would be the companies that you also mentioned who would be affected. The main issue on medical marijuana is separating it from recreational use which has many more down sides then medical marijuana.

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