Marijuana As A Medicine Essay

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If your every waking moment was consumed by pain and nausea, wouldn't
you ask for medication? What if the only medication legally available would
leave you unconscious or do nothing at all? If you were the one suffering, would
you resort to the only treatment that allowed you to live normally even though
it was illegal? Thousands of people across the country are forced to break the
law to ease their pain. They have chosen marijuana over anything legally
available because it has various medicinal properties that cannot be found
anywhere else. Due to these many unique medicinal uses, marijuana should be
reclassified as a valid, legal form of treatment.
Marijuana has many unique uses as a form of treatment. It has been used
effectively to combat the nausea caused by chemotherapy, to reduce the internal
pressure of the eyes of glaucoma patients, and to prevent the “wasting syndrome”
in AIDS and cancer patients (“Marijuana for the Sick” A10). As an alternative to
using actual marijuana, modern science has developed a synthetic form of THC,
the active chemical in marijuana. However, this synthetic drug, called Marinol,
is useless for most everyday treatment because it has the unpleasant side effect
of being a powerful sedative. A member of Milwaukee's AIDS community, said that
a friend of his was taking Marinol to increase his appetite: “He spends the
whole day laughing and watching movies...He can't even drive a car because he's
so out of it.” (3/25/97) In addition to that, Marinol only comes in pill form,
which makes it useless for patients taking it for nausea. Marijuana has neither
of those drawbacks. Because it is usually smoked, even the most nauseous patient
can use it as well as easily regulate their intake (“Medical Marijuana” 23). No
prescription drug offers the benefits and potential of marijuana.
Many people have testified to marijuana's validity as a unique form of
treatment. One of these, Robert Randall, one of only eight patients supplied
with marijuana by the federal government, was diagnosed with acute glaucoma and
told that he would be blinded within five years (Brazaitis 1C). Randall “
discovered by accident that smoking marijuana” relieved the internal pressure of
his eyes (1C). After more than twenty years of smoking marijuana, Randall still
has his vision, defying the predictions of his doctors (2C). Richard Broo...

... middle of paper ...

... other mood-altering drugs
which they successfully keep out of their children's hands.
     Marijuana should reclassified so its unique medicinal value can be
legally utilized to treat patients. How long would the loudest opponent of
medicinal marijuana live incapacitated by nausea or Marinol before he would turn
to marijuana? Maybe opponents should spend a month or two in chemotherapy before
they deny patients the most effective means of relief.

Works Cited

Brazaitis, Tom. "The Illegal Wonder Drug." Plain Dealer 2 July. 1995:

"Journal backs medicinal use of marijuana." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
30 Jan. 1997: 3A.

"Marijuana for the Sick." New York Times 30 Dec. 1996: A10.

Conant, Marcus. "This Is Smart Medicine." Newsweek 3 Feb. 1997: 26.

McCaffrey, Barry. "We're on a Perilous Path." Newsweek 3 Feb. 1997: 27.

Medical Marijuana." Issues and Controversies on File 10 Jan. 1997: 22-23.

Brookhiser, Richard. "Pot Luck." National Review 11 Nov. 1996: 27-28.

Snider, Burr. "Inside a Marijuana Pharmacy." San Francisco Examiner 3
July. 1994: A1-A2.

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