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The Legalization of Medical Marijuana

The Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Jennifer Fanjoy

Southern New Hampshire University

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Marijuana is classified as an illegal substance by the FDA. The media has also continued to paint a negative picture on this substance. However, marijuana should be legalized mainly for one reason, the pain alleviation for those suffering from chronic illnesses. These groups of people should be allowed full non-restricted access to medical marijuana. Just because the substance is said to be illegal and being misused should not be a reason to subject patients who need it for ;pain and suffering.

Experts from the National Institute of Health or NIH have confirmed that marijuana is an effective, safe and inexpensive alternative for treating nausea caused by AIDS medications and chemotherapy. ;It also helps alleviate symptoms from ;glaucoma, anorexia, asthma, insomnia, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimers, migraines, schizophrenia, sickle cell disease, Tourette syndrome and Wilson’s disease. ;

It has been proven to provide “both analgesia and anti-inflammatory relief for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, complex sympathetic dystrophy, and restless leg syndrome; and assists many with mental health problems, including attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder” (Bearman, 2011).

Some think marijuana ;should be legal, others think it shouldn’t, and some think it should be with some modifications on the usage. Marijuana provides relief to people with chronic pain however, the government proclaims there is no therapeutic value in the medicinal use of marijuana, but they do not have hard evidence to prove it. Some of the advantages that marijuana has on multiple sclerosis is it reduces muscle pain and plasticity cause by the disease, and may also help some patients with bladder control and relieve tremor. It can also prevent epileptic seizures for epilepsy patients. When you look at the benefits, there is no question that marijuana should be legal throughout the entire country.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize or approve the marijuana plant or its crude extracts as medicine, however, the FDA has approved several drugs with a synthetic cannabinoid similar to delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). ; Dronabinol (Marinol) is used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and wasting disease (extreme weight loss) caused by AIDS. ; Nabilone (Cesamet) also contains a synthetic cannabinoid and is used for the same purposes. ; The UK and several other European countries have a drug called Sativex, which contains equal parts of THC and CBD, to “treat spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) and it is now in Phase III clinical trials in the U.S.” (NIDA).

Marijuana is a drug that is always being talked about all over the media. There is constant public dispute on whether it should be legalized or not and if it were legalized, how would they make it work. The divider on this matter is people’s beliefs and the way that society has stereotyped marijuana. ;Since medical marijuana is illegal on a federal level, it makes it much more difficult because of ;running the risk of getting in trouble with the government. ; However, with the legalization, the benefits that would come from this would be exponential, beyond the benefits of prescription drugs


Barr, B. (2008). Medical Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized. In J. Tardiff (Ed.), Contemporary Issues Companion. Marijuana. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Commonwealth, 1999, June) Retrieved from >

Bearman, D. (2011). Marijuana Has Been Proven to Effectively Treat Many Medical Conditions. In N. Merino (Ed.), Current Controversies. Medical Marijuana. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Medical Marijuana: Scientific Mechanisms and Clinical Indications,, 1-18, n.d.) Retrieved from >

Cerdá, M., Wall, M., Keyes, K. M., Galea, S., & Hasin, D. (2012). Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse and dependence. ;Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Drug Policy Alliance. (2016). Marijuana Should Be Fully Legalized, Not Just Decriminalized. In N. Merino (Ed.), Opposing Viewpoints. The Legalization of Marijuana. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Why Is Marijuana Decriminalization Not Enough?, 1, 2015, January) Retrieved from >

NIDA. (2017, April 28). Marijuana as Medicine. Retrieved from on 2017, June 15

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