Medical Marijuana Argumentative
- Pages: 8
- Word count: 1815
- Category: Cannabis
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Medical marijuana is a very common topic of the century in the United States. I would say the country is split 50/50 in favor and against legalizing marijuana nation wide for medical use. Every argument has its pros and cons, although the misconception of marijuana as a medical use has supportive reasons that are in favor. Reasons in favor of medical marijuana use ranked in terms of strength and effectiveness are as followed.
Treating pain relief, chronic nausea from cancer patients treatments, help boost the economy, muscle relaxation, medical marijuana vs. prescription drugs, and marijuana is an all natural herb. Reasons against medical marijuana use ranked in terms of strength and effectiveness are as followed. Increased drug use among youths, safety towards self and others, short-term side effects, having a “gateway” effect, respiratory issues, and marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled substance.
Medical marijuana, also known as Cannabis, contains a major constituent called Cannabidiol. This compound in medical marijuana is most effective to treat analgesia, pain relief. Cannabis can help reduce suffering from individuals who experience chronic pain from diseases such as neuropathy, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I chose medical marijuana for most in favor of treating pain relief because many American’s suffer from pain everyday. “Chronic pain affects at least 116 million Americans each year” (Szalavitz, 2011). Whether a person experiences pain from work, stress, or having a bad back, the majority suffers from pain. Therefore I think the use of cannabis is most in favor of treating pain relief because it is doing the most good for the most amount of people, utilitarianism.
Cancer patients undergo chemotherapy and radiation, and take medications that cause chronic nausea and vomiting. Not only is cannabidiol an analgesic, but also it is a natural antiemetic, which alleviates nausea and vomiting. In some cases patients refuse treatment or medication because the side affects are intolerable.
Medical marijuana also has proven to noticeably to slow down the production of cancerous cells in the body. I chose this second because the symptoms of cancer treatments sounds like it makes an individual physically feel worse, which is almost a double whammy having a sickening disease and treatments that cause negative side effects. Thus making medical marijuana use relieve some of the pain and suffering they are already in.
I chose boost the economy next as a favor in legalizing marijuana for medical use because our economy could grow rapidly and pay off our national debt. Legalizing cannabis nation wide could pull in millions if not billions of dollars to the United States. Sales and revenue tax will help pay for our national debt. With the prohibition of cannabis it is actually costing taxpayers billions as well as the government.
Criminals in prison with marijuana related offences cost U.S. prisons roughly a billion dollars. Finally, cannabis is a cash crop that is currently bringing in millions to states that have the plant legalized. “Marijuana growers account for $14 billion a year in sales in California, making it the state’s most valuable cash crop, TIME reports” (Bradford, 2012). If legalizing marijuana for medical use already brings in that much just for the state of California, think about the billions of dollars it will bring in for other states and the government.
People with multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia experience involuntary muscle spasms ranging from mild to severe. These diseases prevent can prevent a person from doing daily activities and routines. I have seen this first hand as my mom has fibromyalgia. Medical marijuana use can reduce muscle pain and muscle spasticity thus leading to muscle relaxation, in these individuals. “Although several conventional medications can reduce these patients’ discomfort, taking them rarely provides complete relief. Often the drugs cause weakness, drowsiness, and other side effects that some patients find intolerable” (Joy & Mack, 2000). Muscle relaxation is ranked fourth because again people are suffering from pain.
“Many patients are taking prescription drugs just to fight the side affects of other prescription drugs. As you can have patients that end up taking dozens of pills off of western medicine recommendations not knowing there is maybe a safer, better and cheaper alternative out there which can solve many of the same issues they are experiencing but at a certainly reduced rate and a reduced risk” (Slaugh, 2012).
There are an immense number of deaths from prescription drugs where there is no known case of a person dying or overdosing from medical cannabis. Prescription drugs also have more negative side effects than medical marijuana does. I chose this favor next because I think it is important for people to realize medical marijuana is a natural medicine that can do a greater good for medical patients. Not only are prescription medications that relieve pain very expensive they are abused, do more harm, whereas medical marijuana is cheaper and safer.
Cannabis is a mix of dried flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves coming from a hemp plant. Therefore this herb is grown naturally from the earth, where as prescription medications are made in a lab. This pure plant contains no chemicals or additives, thus making it natural. I chose this last because although it is a natural plant I think it is the hardest to back up in terms of how people preserve medical marijuana. “Marijuana’s negative reputation is long overdue for a makeover, as this plant has proven to have a lot more health benefits than generally accepted” (Natural Society, 2013).
In our current decade it is much easier than it was before for youths to get ahold of marijuana because it is now more available, almost as available as alcohol. If marijuana was legalized for medical use there is a possibility that youths will start smoking marijuana recreationally, also at a younger age. The United States needs to keep children safe, if marijuana is legalized there is a potential for youths to abuse the plant. I chose this first because the youths in the current decade need to be kept safe and healthy in order to succeed in the future since they will be the future.
I chose the safety toward self and others next as a favor against legalizing marijuana for medical use because nobody should take an opportunity to harm him or herself or harm others. The use of medical cannabis can impair ones cognitive functions causing them to not react as fast or possibly not in the same fashion as they would when they are sober. I chose this second because nobody should be at risk of danger by themselves and especially from others. Risky behavior could lead to negative consequences.
Next I chose short-term side effects for the favor against legalizing the use of medical cannabis. Although these side effects are short-term, they have the potential to cause harm. Delayed reaction time, loss of coordination and balance, blurred vision or red eyes, and sleepiness are some of the side effects that could result in actions that could harm others. For example, blurred vision and delayed reaction time when driving under the influence of marijuana could potentially cause harm. I chose this third because I think it is important for people to know that after the use of cannabis their mind turns into a different more relaxed and carefree state and some effects could do harm.
“Gateway” effect is the use of cannabis that could potentially lead to the use of harder, addictive drugs. “Researchers at the University of New Hampshire say pot serves as a “gateway” to other drugs mainly for young people who are poor, unemployed, and subjected to severe psychological stress” (Hunter, 2010). Once again this brings in the factor of doing harm to others and to self, why is why I chose this favor against legalizing medical marijuana for medical use. I also chose this because although this argument is potential to happen, peer pressure could be involved in, lets say a youth, to do a harder drug than the cannabis plant which can lead to more harm and is also scary.
Though it is not completely certain as to whether or not smoking medical cannabis can lead to long-term respiratory issues, people are still at risk of damaging their respiratory system. “Marijuana smoke contains similar levels of tar as tobacco smoke and up to 50% more carcinogens. 4,5 Marijuana users smoke unfiltered material, inhale the smoke more deeply, and hold the smoke longer than tobacco smokers, resulting in substantially greater tar deposits in the lungs than tobacco smokers” (National Institutes of Health, 2005).
Smoking cannabis regularly could lead to shortness of breath, frequent coughing and phlegm. I chose this second to last because there is not much information on whether or not and how much harm smoking medical cannabis can do on a person’s respiratory system. Although the way I see it, smoking medical cannabis is inhaling tar that could lead to complications down the road, just like smoking tobacco.
Finally I chose medical marijuana being a schedule one controlled substance as a favor against being legalized for use. I chose this last because I think it is import for people to know why it is classified as a scheduled one controlled substance. “Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse” (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012).
Although this is according to the government not the people which is why I think this argument can be rather tricky. I would assume government officials do not partake in medical cannabis use because one, they are against it and two, if they partook in using medical cannabis they would face serious jail time for participating in a federal offense. The government is only doing what is right for the safety of the people and environment, but they may not have stepped in the shoes of a chronic pain patient who uses medical cannabis to relieve their pain.
Bradford, H. (2012, November 7). 14 ways marijuana legalization could boost the economy. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/marijuana-economy-14-reasons_n_2089107.html#slide=1732347
Hunter, A. (2010). Marijuana a “gateway” drug? scientists call theory half-baked. CBSNews. Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20015429-10391704.html
Joy, J., & Mack, A. (2000). Marijuana as medicine: Marijuana and muscle spasticity. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Institutes of Health. (2005). Respiratory effects of marijuana and tobacco use in a u.s. sample. Bethesda, MD: National Library of Medicine.
Natural Society. (2013). Marijuana. Retrieved from: http://naturalsociety.com/cannabis-marijuana/
Slaugh, M. (2012, September 10). Medical marijuana vs. prescription drugs [Video file]. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgaQynbXT-I
Szalavitz, M. (2011, June 29). Report: Chronic, Undertreated Pain Affects 116 Million Americans. Time, Retrieved from: http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/29/report-chronic-undertreated-pain-affects-116-million-americans/
U.S. Department of Justice. (2012). Controlled substance schedules. Springfield, VA: Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control.