Marijuana has many medicinal properties, and it should be legalized in order to help patients cope with pain and suffering. It has been shown to treat an incredibly wide variety of afflictions, including extremely serious problems such as cancer and AIDS. There are significant studies, past and present, showing that specific ailments are alleviated or cured by THC (the main active component in marijuana). Legalizing medical marijuana is also one of the most widely accepted and supported drug reform issues.
The concept of using marijuana for medicinal purposes has been around since the dawn of documented history, and there are many people today attempting to reeducate the population at large. From doctors to patients to biochemists, there is conclusive evidence that medical marijuana is beneficial in treating diseases. Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia, HIV/AIDS and multiple kinds of cancer – all are treatable with medical marijuana (NORML, 2008).
As a matter of fact, marijuana can help with most afflictions that include some aspect of nausea, anxiety, or pain; an extremely huge number of illnesses include one or more of those elements. Even more uses for the drug are currently being discovered and researched (DrugPolicy. org, para. 10). A study in Madrid, Spain in 2000 showed that injecting THC into mice with brain tumors significantly slowed the growth and spread of the tumor. Most of the mice still eventually died, but three of them were completely cured (Cushing, para. 2 and 6).
In the Netherlands at SIMM (Sichting Institute of Medical Marijuana), specific studies have even shown that varieties of the plant can be bred to better treat certain diseases (SIMM, para. 4). Along with conclusive medical research, NORML shows that the legalization of medical marijuana has huge national and international support (2008). Recent studies have shown that approximately 73% of all Americans support the policy reform (DrugPolicy. org, para. 10), and thirteen U. S. states currently participate in medical marijuana programs (NORML, 2008).
The DEA has previously stated that there are not many organizations that support the reform; however there are over 70, including prominent groups like the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the American Cancer Society (NORML, 2008). Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes since at least 2000 B. C. , all over the world (Bock, 2000); yet today, we have created legislature that goes against the knowledge we have already had for over 5,000 years.
We have overlooked the extensive possibilities that this plant has to offer us for too long. Along with its implications in the medical world, there is now discussion over marijuana becoming a source of bio diesel fuel. Marijuana crops could also be used for making fiber, paint, oils, and even paper (Bock, 2000), and could provide an enormous amount of money for the government and farmers through taxes and profit. The amount of good that can come out of legalizing this plant is immeasurable. Medical marijuana is a legitimate drug, with many beneficial qualities.
Just imagine what legalizing it could mean for terminal diseases like cancer, AIDS, MS and epilepsy; with further research there is a possibility that some of these illnesses could be completely controlled, or even eradicated. There are real, everyday people who are experiencing horrible pain and suffering, and there is a natural drug, readily available, that will give them a better quality of life. It is ridiculous that our government would prevent its own people access to something this helpful and promising. It is time to get over the stigma of this plant and give patients the relief and piece of mind that they deserve.
References Bock, Allan W. (2000). Waiting to Inhale: The Politics of Marijuana. Santa Ana, CA: Steven Locks. Cushing, Raymond. (2000, May 31). Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in ’74. Retrieved on September 19, 2008 from http://www. alternet. org. DrugPolicy. org. Medical Marijuana. Retrieved September 19, 2008 from http://www. drugpolicy. org. NORML. Industrial Use. Retrieved September 19, 2008 from http://norml. org. Sichting Institute of Medical Marijuana. About Us. Retrieved September 19, 2008 from http://www. medicalmarijuana. org.