Marijuana, Medicine Or Illicit Drug Essay, Research Paper
Marijuana, Medicine or Illicit Drug
If you look hard enough, you can see a drug deal happening daily. Your first thought is, look at that drug addict, where are the Police when you need them? What if the person buying the drug used it to ease the pain of a life threatening illness? What if it slowed the progress of a blinding disease? The debate over marijuana as a medicinal drug has continued for decades. For thousands of years it has been used for a variety of ailments. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 federally prohibited marijuana. The controlled Substances Act of 1970 placed all illicit and prescription drugs into five “schedules” (categories). Marijuana was place in Schedule I, defining the substance as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Supporters want the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a schedule II drug, one that physicians can legally prescribe, despite its potential for addiction (Morphine is an example of a schedule II drug). The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) states it is to create a National Drug Control Strategy based on science rather than ideology. Furthermore, it endorses the therapeutic use of any substance but only if it meets strict scientific standards that ensures safe and effective use. Marijuana has many pros and cons, but should be legalized for medicinal purposes just for the simple fact of relieving a person of pain in their last days or slowing down the progress of a condition.
The opponents contend that legalizing Marijuana will send out the wrong message to children, that using drugs is all right. In recent years the rate of eighth graders using illicit drugs has tripled. The increase in marijuana use has been fueled by a measurable decrease in the proportion of young people who perceive marijuana to be a dangerous substance. The ONDCP states, “with drug use by young people increasing, we must not send a mixed message about the dangers of marijuana.” In addition, “our Nation’s goal must be to reduce, not promote, the use of illicit drugs.” The issue is also raised that children who use Marijuana are more likely to experiment or us other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. Also there are many other medications that can comfort people with their disease.
The supporters insist that legalizing marijuana for sick people will send a different message to children, that drugs help people when they are sick. It is a parent’s responsibility to explain that medications are used to help people and aren’t to be abused. If parents are doing their job as parents, then marijuana abuse shouldn’t be different than other medication abuse.
Marijuana has been researched and found to assist people with diseases like cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and multiple sclerosis. Marijuana has been used in conjunction with a conventional glaucoma drug and has reduced the dangerous pressure in the patient’s eyes. The major ingredient in marijuana, called Marinol has been prescribed in pill formula for over 14 years. The drawback to the pill is that unlike the cigarette it doesn’t give immediate relief, often it takes hours to feel it’s effects. Also, if a patient is taking marijuana to gain weight (especially for patients going through chemotherapy and AIDS patients), the cigarette is more likely to work, as they won’t vomit it back. Marijuana offers many benefits, and is a drug that can work almost instantaneously and calms the adverse reaction of other drugs.
The United States Government spends millions of taxpayer’s dollars to apprehend and prosecute people for buying and selling marijuana. A number of the people buying it are sick and just seeking some relief from their pain. If the Government would legalize marijuana it could help the nation’s economy and could put the street marijuana dealer out of business, while make money on the sales tax. It would also save the judge’s time used on marijuana cases.
Obviously, marijuana could help some people live a less painful life and in some cases prolong their life. By legalizing it, it will help the economy and put some drug dealers out of business. It would allow the courts to take care of the criminals and stop the suffering of decent Americans trying to have a less painful existence. Americans should not have to suffer because of laws that unsympathetic politicians vote on.
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Statement on Marijuana for Medical Purposes.
www.witehousedrugpolicy.gov. (August 4, 1997)
Fackelman, Kathleen. “Marijuana on Trial” Science News Online. www.sciencenews.org.
(March 22, 1997)
Marijuana Policy Project. Medicinal Marijuana Briefing Paper 1999 “The Need to Change State and Federal Laws.” www.mpp.org.