регистрация /  вход

Marijuana A Horticultural Revolution A Medical And

Marijuana: A Horticultural Revolution, A Medical And Legal Battle Essay, Research Paper

Marijuana: A Horticultural Revolution, A Medical and Legal Battle

For years there has been a wonder drug which has befriended countless sick

patients in a number of countries. A relatively inexpensive drug that is not

covered by health care plans which has aided the ill both mentally and

physically–marijuana. Significant scientific and medical studies have

demonstrated that marijuana is safe for use under medical supervision and that

the cannabis plant, in its natural form, has important therapeutic benefits that

are often of critical medical importance to persons afflicted with a variety of

life-threatening illnesses. Courts have recognized marijuana’s medical value in

treatment and have ruled that marijuana can be a drug of ?necessity? in the

treatment of glaucoma, cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. From the

collection of information we now have on marijuana’s health benefits for the ill,

there is no longer any reason to keep it illegal. It should therefore be legal

for licensed physicians to prescribe marijuana for terminal patients for whom it

offers the only reasonable opportunity for living without unbearable pain.

Marijuana has been used many times to help ease pain and suffering. It

often eases nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, reduces the pain

of AIDS patients and lowers eye pressure in glaucoma sufferers. Cancer and AIDS

patients often lose a lot of weight, either due directly to their illness or

indirectly to the treatment of the illness. Dramatic weight loss puts their

lives in even more danger. Marijuana stimulates the appetite, thus enabling

patients to eat more and gain weight which in turn strengthens the immune system.

So if there are so many benefits, then why is marijuana not legal? Many

states contend that the ban on medical marijuana is necessary to prevent drug

abuse and the availability of illicit drugs and to control the purity of

medicinal drug products. These states have no compelling interest in

intervening to needlessly prolong terminal patients’ suffering. States should

allow the medical use of marijuana under strict regulations, rather than uphold

an outdated drug classification scheme.

While federal agencies adamantly maintain marijuana has ?no accepted

medical use in treatment in the United States,? the medical prohibition has come

under strong legal challenge from seriously ill Americans who have been arrested

on marijuana-related charges. In U.S. v. Randall, a Washington, D.C. man

afflicted by glaucoma employed the little-used Common Law doctrine of necessity

to defend himself against criminal charges of marijuana cultivation. On

November 24, 1976, federal Judge James Washington ruled Randall’s use of

marijuana constituted a ?medical necessity.? In part, Judge Washington ruled:

While blindness was shown by competent medical testimony

to be the otherwise inevitable result of defendant’s disease, no

adverse effects from the smoking of marijuana have been demon-

strated. Medical evidence suggests that the medical prohibition

is not well-founded.

If a judge can determine when a ?medical necessity? is warranted and can rule

that a sick individual should be granted the legal use of marijuana, then should

a licensed physician not be just as capable of doing so, if not…much more

capable? Well trained medical professionals rather than inapt federal

bureaucrats should be responsible for determining a patient’s medical care


This is an intolerable, untenable legal situation. Unless legislators and

regulators attend to these urgent human needs and rapidly move to correct the

anomaly arising from the absolute prohibition of marijuana which forces law

abiding citizens into the streets – - and criminality – to meet their legitimate

medical needs, cases of the type of U.S. v. Randall will continue to be

prevalent and will increase considerably. There is a pressing need for a more

compassionate, humane law which clearly discriminates between the criminal

conduct of those who socially abuse chemicals and the legitimate medical needs

of seriously ill patients whose welfare and very lives may depend on the prudent

therapeutic use of those very same substances.