WyattM_marijuana - Marijuana As Medicine While the debate...

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Marijuana: As Medicine? While the debate concerning the legalization of marijuana has been going on for decades, it is unlikely that the United States will follow in the ways of the Dutch and legalize it entirely. However, its helpfulness as a drug may tilt the argument. Marijuana has been proven to effectively treat glaucoma, which results from increasing ocular pressure, AIDS wasting syndrome, and the nausea associated with undergoing chemotherapy. Still, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, which means it has no established medical use (1). The question that begs to be asked is: why would the federal government withhold any kind of medical treatment from anybody? The answer lies in the high potential for abuse and addiction that goes along with smoking pot. Also, the effectiveness of marijuana treatment versus other treatments for the aforementioned medical problems hasn’t really been established. Therefore, as marijuana may be ineffective as a drug, and the fact that marijuana is harmful both to the user and eventually to society if use spreads, marijuana should not be legalized nationwide, even just for medical purposes. This may seem harsh, but keep in mind that marijuana is basically untested as a drug. Due to its illegality, marijuana has not been tested by the FDA or otherwise evaluated to make sure it is safe as a drug (2). It does seem to have some effect in the certain cases discussed above, but then again, so does marinol, which is the active ingredient of marijuana. A smoke-free delivery system of THC (marinol) has been proposed where THC is given to patients in something similar to inhalers (1). This sounds like a good idea, as in this form, there will be no cancer risk to the patients using the drug, and THC by itself is much less likely to be used
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2012 for the course NAT_SCI 210 taught by Professor Somebody during the Winter '11 term at Northwestern.

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WyattM_marijuana - Marijuana As Medicine While the debate...

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