The Ongoing Debate about Medical Marijuana

Marijuana continues to be classed as a controlled substance, not just in this country but in many others as well. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is Schedule I substance, which means it has no medical use and has a high potential for abuse. However, various studies now suggest that this is incorrect, and that cannabis does in fact have medical uses. The debate has been raging on this for a long time, although it seems that the “pro cannabis” side is winning. This is shown, for instance, in how easy it now is to find marijuana delivery Los Angeles companies.  So what are the arguments for both sides of the debate?

Arguments for Marijuana

  1. It is a natural substance that has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. We know that organic and natural products are better for us, and marijuana is essentially a natural herb and therefore better than synthetic substances.
  2. There have been numerous reports that THC, the active component in cannabis, is beneficial in the reduction of chronic pain, particularly in cancer patients. Additionally, THC helps to lower feelings of nausea and vomiting that chemotherapy patients often experience. Other studies have shown benefits for people who suffer from multiple sclerosis, that it is antipsychotic, and that it can help prevent glaucoma.
  3. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is an organization in this country that has received a wealth of support from prominent doctors and medical professionals, including the American College of Physicians, who are campaigning for a re-evaluation of the classification of cannabis.
  4. Many countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Austria, Spain, Finland, and Israel, have legalized it when provided on prescription. Several states in this country have also followed that example.

Arguments Against Marijuana

  1. There is not a lot of data available on how efficient it is, and how safe it is. There have been no peer reviewed studies on the safety of cannabis in particular. It must be proven to be both safer and more effective than existing medical substances if it is to be accepted.
  2. It contains various unknown chemical components. It is not possible to truly know what the right dosage is for different uses, and different varieties of plants. Furthermore, cultivators are increasing the potency of their plants.
  3. It has the potential for abuse. Cannabis has long been a recreational drug, and can therefore be abused as well.
  4. There needs to be a safer delivery system. Smoking marijuana means that it goes against anti-smoking regulations, and that patients are also exposed to the dangers of smoking.
  5. It doesn’t cure illnesses, but only alleviates the symptoms.

It is unlikely that there will be a complete agreement on this debate any time soon. However, what seems to weigh in favor of the “pro” camp, is that people who have used cannabis have felt better. This, above all else, should drive policy – the fact that people’s quality of life is improved.

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