Medical marijuana is legal in 33 U.S. States, as of May 2019.
Ever since the State of California first proposed the legalization of marijuana in 1996, there have been numerous debates on the matter.
Proponents for the legalization proclaim the numerous medical benefits of using the plant while those opposing it states that there aren’t enough studies yet to prove that the drug is indeed beneficial for medical use.
So, should medical marijuana be legalized? This article aims to find out.
What is Medical Marijuana?
This refers to the use of chemicals in the marijuana plant to treat various conditions and diseases.
The marijuana plant has more than 100 different chemicals known as cannabinoids. For purely medical purposes, cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol are the most widely utilized cannabinoid.
THC is the chemical that causes the ‘high’ that people get when they use the marijuana plant.
Why Has Legalizing Medical Marijuana Been a Problem?
The main reason why medical marijuana has not been approved in all states is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Department (FDA) has not officially recognized it as a medicine.
For the FDA to legalize a drug, the drug needs to go through thousands of carefully conducted clinically tests and trials so as to have a concrete conclusion that the drug is indeed beneficial.
Nonetheless, in spite of the success that medical marijuana has been having in managing numerous diseases, there haven’t been enough large-scale clinical trials done in order to meet the FDA threshold.
Why Hasn’t More Research Been Done?
In the 1930s, marijuana was criminalized with the primary motives being political, not medical. The plant was quite popular among the Blacks and Mexicans, and thus, it became yet another tool for exerting control.
As a result, marijuana was classified under schedule I drugs by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The Schedule I drug category is the one that contains drugs such as Heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy. Drugs that are highly addictive while having no medical value.
Being in such a category means that it is difficult for researchers to obtain official permits to clinically study and test the drug.
As a result, medical marijuana is unable to meet the threshold required by the FDA so it can be approved.
As such, the federal government is coming in the way of letting people have access to a drug that has been proven to help them. After all, why would over 50 percent of the states legalize it if it is that dangerous?
Uses of Medical Marijuana
In spite of efforts to demonize marijuana, over 60 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing the drug. The following are some of the ways in which medical marijuana helps various conditions.
Effective in Relieving Vomiting and Nausea
Various studies have shown that medical marijuana is effective at decreasing nausea caused by chemical therapy when treating cancer. It also eliminates vomiting completely.
Relieving Muscle Spasticity
Medical marijuana is also effective at helping relieve the spasticity of the muscles. A condition that is associated with paralysis and multiple sclerosis.
Managing Chronic Pain and Illnesses
Marijuana has been found to be useful in treating types of chronic pain such as neuropathic pain. Additionally, medical cannabis is a lot safer than medicines that are commonly prescribed to treat such conditions.
For instance, medical marijuana can be used in place of opioids for pain management. This is because opioids are highly addictive and thus, are not good long-term solutions. This makes them not ideal for chronic pain.
Marijuana also helps treat appetite loss that comes with chronic diseases such as cancers and HIV/AIDS.
It was only recently that it was discovered that medical marijuana can help control seizure disorders.
The drug used to treat the condition is known as Epidiolex. This drug is made from marijuana and is used to treat severe and hard-to-treat seizures.
Beyond the Medical Benefits
Marijuana provides more than medical benefits. The following are other reasons why the drug should be legalized.
While the most compelling reason for legalizing cannabis is for its medical benefits, another reason we should consider legalizing it is the monetary gains to be earned from it.
By being made legal, the government will be able to tax it.
A good example is the state of Colorado. Since legalizing medical marijuana in 2014, the state has been able to pull in over half a billion dollars, and this number is increasing exponentially.
Other research indicates that the marijuana industry will have created about 283,422 jobs by 2020. To put that into context, those are more jobs than the manufacturing, utility, and government sectors will have created; combined!
And because the bulk of the U.S economy is driven by consumption, more jobs will yield more disposable income for consumers.
Moreover, taxpayers will not have to pay for court costs for the thousands of individuals that are arrested every day for being in possession of marijuana. This money can be used for useful projects.
If marijuana remains illegal, it allows drug cartels to run rampant. With over 25 million people using the plant annually, all bets are off regarding the place they obtain their marijuana.
By legalizing it, the government will be in control of the drug’s quality as people will be purchasing from certified vendors. Failure to do so means getting it off the street where quality assurance is a myth.
How to Get Medical Marijuana
To obtain medical marijuana, you must first be in a state that has legalized it.
Secondly, you must get a written recommendation from a licensed doctor. Additionally, you must have a medical condition that warrants medical marijuana use.
Nonetheless, each state has its own set of qualifying conditions. You may also need to obtain a medical marijuana ID card. Once you got the card, you can visit a medical marijuana dispensary to purchase the product.
Should Medical Marijuana Be Legalized?
For thousands of years, our forefathers used marijuana not only for recreational purposes but also for medical reasons.
However, during the last century, the plant was made illegal for no concrete reasons thus barring those who needed it the most from getting it.
Fortunately, cooler heads are prevailing, and medical marijuana is well on its way to being made legal across all states. So, should medical marijuana be legalized? For the sake of those who need it; it should!
Looking for medical marijuana? The Laughing Grass is a licensed marijuana dispensary that serves people looking for quality-checked cannabis products. Contact us today, and we will recommend the most appropriate product for you.