Posted: Nov 13, 2018
Decriminalization of marijuana refers to the removal of a criminal or a monetary penalty in the state due to possession of any amount of marijuana. This can include manufacturing, transportation or even keeping it for later use. This act does not deal in any way the practical use of marijuana, its sale or even the quality. Moreover, no taxation is imposed on it, and there are no restrictions to age and using it in the daily activities of man. All these concerns are left to the local law enforcers to determine (Gettman, 1989).
In reference to medicinal marijuana, many organizations have been pushing for its legality and uses in many health problems. They argue that marijuana has many benefits to the health sector and should not be termed as an illegal drug. As long as it is in the amounts prescribed by the herb specialists, it is healthy. Many health problems including AIDS, muscle spasms, seizure disorders and cancer chemotherapy nausea are said to be treated by marijuana. Patients, who live in states where medical marijuana is decriminalized, are put in a list that allows them to acquire marijuana from authorized vendors. Usually, the patients are given ‘marijuana cards’ to show their reason of using the drug.
A major problem arises due to the failure of having authentic cases of those suffering from the illnesses being prescribed with the drugs. In most instances, those termed as "medical marijuana patients;" are people whose main aim is to seek a means of acquiring and smoking the drug. This rules out the whole idea of medicinal marijuana because it does not serve the intended purpose and patients too. Instead, it becomes a way of providing easy access to t he drug.
For medicinal purposes, it is prescribed by the doctors for pain relieving because the body makes chemicals that are marijuana-like. They affect pain, inflammation and other body processes. Marijuana makes the natural body chemicals work better. Marijuana is known to treat and prevent the eye disease, glaucoma. The disease causes pressure in the eyeball and can cause a problem to the optic nerve. Patients can easily lose their vision in the long run. The use of marijuana causes a decrease in the pressure. Marijuana has a special chemical that stops the spreading of cancer. According to a journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, marijuana stops cancer by inhibiting the processes of an Id-1 gene. It’s also known to reduce anxiety by relieving pain and suppressing nausea. On the contrary, intake of high doses may cause anxiety; so should be controlled. Treatment of Hepatitis C can be harsh at times and many patients shy away from finishing their doses. When marijuana is used, it reduces the side effects of the treatment drugs used.
Whether the drug is used for medicinal or recreational purposes, it still has risks associated with it. The bottom line is that, it remains to be marijuana in whatever circumstances. It is not like other approved drugs by the food and drug administration. It then means that, the quality of the drug found in the market cannot be easily determined or regulated. It poses a danger to the users because no one is accountable in case of any side effect. Its potential to cause health problems like cancer and also purity is not regulated by any organization. There are no stipulated laws and guidelines on how to deal with the drug. However, there are limits to its usage. Only those with cards are allowed to be in its possession. Medicinal marijuana cannot be prescribed to anyone below the age of eighteen. Others who ought not to use are those having a heart disease, pregnant mothers and those with a history of psychosis.
Usage of marijuana for medical reasons has both merits and demerits. Its use medically has been allowed in some states, but there is no regulation to its use. It poses a danger to the users since the quality of the drug may be at stake. On the contrary, the research done has shown that it has many health benefits.
Caulkins, J. P., Hawken, A., Kilmer, B., & Kleiman, M. (2012) A Voter's Guide to Decriminalizing Marijuana: American Interest, 8(2), 28-36.
Frosch, D. (2013, November 7). Measures To Legalize Marijuana Are Passed. New York Times: pp. A12-A16.
Gettman, J. (1989). Decriminalizing Marijuana: American Behavioral Scientist, 32(3), 243
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