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Medical Marijuana Standford Paper

Medical Marijuana Standford Paper - Brad Winterberger 1...

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Brad Winterberger 1 Medical Marijuana Marijuana prohibition stands as one of the most unwarranted policies of the United States. Every year we are spending billions of dollars on the War on Drugs with little benefit. The United States has incarcerated approximately 70,000 marijuana users, which is costing taxpayers nearly 1.2 billion dollars each year. In 2000 alone, nearly 740,000 users of marijuana were arrested. This prohibition makes no sense, especially in a country where alcohol use is completely acceptable. Many argue that marijuana use is much more safe than either alcohol or cigarettes, yet it has been illegal for almost 70 years (NORML). . Obviously this is seriously indefensible. But even more terrible is that fact that there are many medicinal benefits of marijuana that are being denied to hundreds of thousands of patients yearly. Prohibition of marijuana for recreational use is an idiotic policy, but the prohibition for medicinal marijuana is completely iniquitous. In this paper I will focus on the prohibition of medical marijuana. I will start with a little background on the history of medical marijuana and on the medicinal properties of marijuana. I will then move on to discuss the history of legislation for marijuana in general, and then specifically medical pot. The current legislation will also be examined. I will conclude with potential policy options, and ways to help fight this injustice.
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Brad Winterberger 2 Medicinal Marijuana History and Uses According to written records, marijuana has been used for its medicinal purposes for as long as 5000 years. Its earliest medical uses are linked to India and China. By 500 A.D. its use had spread westward, to the Middle East, where it was reportedly used as an analgesic and antiseptic. It slowly spread to Africa and Eastern Europe. Several years after Napolean’s army returned from Egypt, marijuana became widely accepted by western medical practitioners. It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that the United States embraced its therapeutic qualities as evidenced by the 1860 convening of the Committee on Cannabis Indica of the Ohio State Medical Society, which reported on its therapeutic applications. In the years from 1840-1890, the medical community in the U.S. had written 100 papers recommending its use for various illnesses. By the early 20 th century nearly 200 papers had been written demonstrating the medicinal qualities of marijuana. In the period from 1890-1937, the development of newer medicines led to the decline of using medical pot, although many organizations still endorsed medical pot, including the American Medical Association (Nat’l Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse). We now realize that medicinal pot is an effective, and sometimes superior medication, and that the last 70 years of prohibition have been uncalled for. Its uses are numerous, and it is a terrible injustice that patients are being denied access to this wealth of uses. One of the best uses of marijuana is for pain relief, mainly neuropathic pain, which is pain associated with nerve damage.
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