Federal Legalization of Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes

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The federal legalization of marijuana is a controversial topic in America. Some states have legalized it for medical purposes, others for medical and recreational use, and others not. There are people on both sides of the debate on whether cannabis should be legalized nationally. Marijuana should be federally legalized because of its positive results when used as medicine. Cannabis-based medication helps to manage chronic pain in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. It can also be used to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. In addition to the health benefits, medical marijuana should be legalized because, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is safe. Another reason for legalizing marijuana on a national level is to enable medical professionals to work with patients to help them realize the full benefits of the drug. Overall, when marijuana is used for medical reasons, it has positive effects and should therefore be federally legalized.

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Cannabis has a variety of medical uses, with the most prominent one being pain management. Medical marijuana has proven to be effective in relieving pain in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, and neuropathic pain. Aside from its uses as an analgesic, marijuana can also be used to reduce nausea and vomiting that are induced by chemotherapy. Specifically, cannabis-based products can be used to manage these two side effects of chemotherapy that conventional antiemetics cannot seem to control. Although there is insufficient evidence, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active compound in cannabis, might be useful in treating anorexia. In addition, some states permit the use of marijuana for people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizure disorders, glaucoma, and inflammatory bowel disease. Marijuana has numerous medical benefits that help people manage conditions that would otherwise be debilitating. Many states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, but not all states. Cannabis should be legalized on a federal level owing to the positive results it yields when used as medicine.

Bridgeman, M. B., & Abazia, D. T. (2017). Medicinal cannabis: History, pharmacology, and implications for the acute care setting. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 42(3), 180-188.

Another reason why marijuana should be federally legalized for medical purposes is for patients to obtain guidance from medical professionals about usage. Research shows that many breast cancer patients use cannabis without the knowledge of their doctors. They fail to disclose this usage due to embarrassment or fear of how to raise the issue. However, when they fail to inform or even consult with their doctor, they run the risk of the drug interfering with their primary treatment. Additionally, immunocompromised patients must be cautious of where they obtain marijuana since illegally purchased marijuana may contain dangerous contaminants. Many people do not know that the quality of cannabis-based products varies. While medical marijuana is beneficial for patients, they can only get the full benefits if they involve their medical staff. Medical professionals across the country can help patients realize the positive results of using marijuana as medication only if marijuana is federally legalized.

Burling, S. (2021). Many breast cancer patients are using cannabis without telling their doctors, study finds. The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Some people argue that marijuana should not be legalized for medicinal purposes because it is not safe. However, this is a misleading claim since some THC-based medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For instance, Cesamet, a THC-based drug used to prevent or treat vomiting and nausea, is FDA-approved. In addition, some drugs such as Sativex are approved in countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom. This means that the drug is considered safe for use by the health experts in these countries. Sativex is a mouth spray that contains THC and cannabidiol (CBD). Medical marijuana should be federally legalized because it has been proven to be safe. Additionally, legalizing it will facilitate further research to produce safe drugs. For instance, the dosage and route of delivery of a substance determine whether or not it is safe. The FDA will be able to better determine safe doses that cannabis-based medications should have if marijuana is legalized nationally for medical use. Therefore, medical marijuana should be federally legalized because it is safe

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Is marijuana safe and effective as medicine? 

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This interview provides first-hand, unedited evidence of the effects of taking cannabis-based medication. In this video, the host observes how a man who has Parkinson’s disease reacts before and after taking medication containing medical marijuana. Before taking the medication, the man appears to have impaired motor skills, and his hands are extremely shaky. The dyskinesia left after a single drop of cannabis-based medication was orally administered. The mechanism of medical marijuana in alleviating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is by boosting some branches of the endocannaboid system necessary for motor activity. The patient is in a much better state after ingesting the medication. For example, he is able to coordinate himself and even inquires if his guests have eaten. Prior to this, he had trouble speaking since Parkinson’s disease affects the voice. Medical marijuana gives him a semblance of normalcy, and he reports that it is really beneficial for him. He also expresses frustration at the fact that his state prohibits the sale and use of medical marijuana. From this patient’s testimony, marijuana should be legalized nationally for medical reasons because it has positive results.

Ride with Larry. (2016). Medical marijuana and Parkinson’s part 3 of 3. [YouTube]. 

Medical marijuana should also be legalized on a national level to eliminate confusion caused by varying state legislations. Currently, some states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes while others have not. This means that individuals cannot freely move across state borders and jurisdictions with medications containing marijuana. It also means that some individuals can acquire much needed medications from one state but cannot carry them home with them. Under federal legislation, citizens will be free to use and travel with medication from state to state. Confusion also results from differences in standards governing the production, packaging, and selling of cannabis medication. Many states have regulation addressing concerns such as ingredients, but these guidelines vary from state to state. National standards are required to harmonize existing state standards regarding medical marijuana. Due to the states having different rules about medical marijuana, there is a lot of disarray in the United States about cannabis medication and hence the full benefits of medical marijuana cannot be realized by patients. Legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes on a federal level will bring consonance between the states and help patients enjoy the full benefits of medical marijuana.

Tishler, J. (2021). Cannabis legalization must address medical use, not just recreational use. StatNews. 

References

Bridgeman, M. B., & Abazia, D. T. (2017). Medicinal cannabis: History, pharmacology, and implications for the acute care setting. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 42(3), 180-188.

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Burling, S. (2021). Many breast cancer patients are using cannabis without telling their doctors, study finds. The Philadelphia Inquirer.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Is marijuana safe and effective as medicine?

Ride with Larry. (2016). Medical marijuana and Parkinson’s part 3 of 3. [YouTube].

Tishler, J. (2021). Cannabis legalization must address medical use, not just recreational use. StatNews.

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Premium Papers. 2022. "Federal Legalization of Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes." November 22, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/federal-legalization-of-marijuana-for-medicinal-purposes/.

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Premium Papers. "Federal Legalization of Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes." November 22, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/federal-legalization-of-marijuana-for-medicinal-purposes/.