Several medical and health organizations have recognized marijuana’s medical value. In fact, some of these medical organizations and other prominent associations have
favorable medical marijuana positions such as the AIDS Action Council, American Academy of HIV Medicine, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AIDS Project Rhode Island, just to name a few (Logos). Medical experts say that there is substantial evidence that have proven that marijuana is safe and effective for some patients (Ethos). My point is that marijuana is not to be considered as a purely illegal substance because of its medicinal value (Metacommentary). Essentially, I am arguing that medical marijuana does not send the wrong message to children. In short, legalizing the use of medical marijuana will not increase the recreational use of adolescents if they are properly informed that it can only be used by sick people for their cure (Metacommentary). My conclusion then is that it is absurd to punish patients for using medical marijuana so it is about time that all states enact laws to legalize its use.
Thesis Statement: Legalizing the use of medical marijuana or its decriminalization is beneficial for the State as part of an income-generating measure and the patients who suffer from neuropathic pain.
- Marijuana has been proven to possess valid therapeutic purposes.
- Medical marijuana does not send wrong message to children and adolescents.
- Marijuana has not demonstrated significant harm to the immune system.
Reason One/Post One: Marijuana has been proven to possess valid therapeutic purposes.
For example, the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005), it was held that marijuana holds valid therapeutic purposes (Ethos) My point is that the SC ruling did not overturn the validity of state medical marijuana laws nor did the decision prevent the states from enacting new medical marijuana laws. In fact, the Supreme Court ruling preserved the status quo of Proposition 215 which was passed in California in 1996 (Logos). To put it in another way, it was maintained that the states may stop the arrest of medical marijuana patients on the basis of the state law. What legalization of medical marijuana really means is that there will be no prosecution of medical marijuana activities which had been permitted by state laws as expressed by the present Obama Administration in 2009 (Metacommentary).
In other words, the new research confirmed that marijuana has indeed medical benefits. In sum then, the report of the three University of California studies that were published since from February 2007 reported that marijuana relieved neuropathic pain. This is known as the pain that have been caused by the damage to nerves (Logos) (Abrams, Jay, Shade, Vizoso, et al. 516). My conclusion then is that marijuana was able to provide relief for neuropathic pain, which is the kind of pain which generally afflicts patients that have been diagnosed of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and other related conditions (Abrams et al., 517).
Essentially, I am arguing that the substance marijuana is one of the safest and most effective medicines for some patients (Mirken, “New evidence shows marijuana is safe, effective – and maybe legal drugs aren’t”). For example, the recent studies that involved 215 patients who were allowed to use cannabis to manage chronic pain for a period of one year showed relief from muscle stiffness, spasms, sleep problems and body pains (Metacommentary). Medical experts say that the 215 patients showed promising results, as compared to the other patients who did not use marijuana (Ethos) (Mirken, “New evidence shows marijuana is safe, effective – and maybe legal drugs aren’t”). My conclusion is that the substance marijuana has the tendency to augment the analgesic effects of opioids, that will allow longer treatment with only lower doses of substance needed by the patients, and has fewer side effects (Logos).
Reason Two/Post Two: Medical marijuana does not send wrong message to children and adolescents.
For example, the state-sponsored California Student Survey (CSS) that was conducted showed that medical marijuana laws did not increase teen marijuana use (Logos). To put it in another way, after the enactment of California’s medical marijuana law or otherwise known as “Proposition 215”, records show that one year after the law became effective, the number of adolescents who use marijuana significantly dropped nearly half in some age groups (Logos). (Skager, Austin, and Wong, “Marijuana Use and the Response to Proposition 215 Among California Youth”).
My point is that the use of medical marijuana should be legalized. To put it in another way, the surveys conducted by states have shown that students in the other medical marijuana states have reported decrease in teen marijuana use after state laws passed their own medical marijuana laws (Metacommentary). In fact, the state of California has conducted an independent study to examine the effects of Proposition 215, as part of the 1997-98 CSS (Ethos) (Skager, et al., “Marijuana Use and the Response to Proposition 215 Among California Youth”). My conclusion then is that there was no convincing evidence that will support the claim that the passage of Proposition 215 increased marijuana use during the given period. In other words, the passage of laws that criminalize patients for using their medical marijuana is that which send the wrong message to children which advocate dishonesty (Pathos). Essentially, my point is that the claim that sick people who need medical marijuana must continue to suffer for the purpose of protecting the youth is what sends the wrong message to the children (Metacommentary). What legalization of marijuana means is that the youth should be taught on the difference between prescribed medicine and drug abuse. For example, the children must be educated on what substances are to be prescribed under the entire Physicians’ Desk Reference, and that no substance should be used for recreational purposes alone (Ethos) (Institute of Medicine 159).
In sum, then, the youth must be fully informed that these drugs are not to be used for fun, but are given to patients as medicines with the prescription coming from a physician (Metacommentary). My conclusion, then, is that, it is the duty of the state to regulate marijuana use by advocating an advertisement campaign addressed to the public that marijuana should only be used by people who are seriously ill and suffering from dreaded diseases (Metacommentary).
Reason Three/Post Three: Marijuana has not demonstrated significant harm to the immune system.
For example, the recent scientific studies did not show any meaningful harm to the immune system from marijuana. This has been affirmed by the Institute of Medicine which stated that in spite of several allegations that marijuana suppresses the human immune system, the health effects of marijuana-induced immunomodulation remain to be unsubstantiated (Ethos) (Institute of Medicine 109). In other words, the short-term immune suppressive effects of marijuana have not been clearly established if they do exist. As a result, patients who need marijuana should not be precluded for the legitimate medical use of such drug (Logos) (Institute of Medicine 109).
Essentially, my argument is that extensive research involving HIV/AIDS patients, who have vulnerable immune systems have not demonstrated signs that will indicate any marijuana-related harm (Metacommentary). Based on the study of researcher/physician Donald Abrams, from the University of California at San Francisco, he did not find any immune system damage after studying the effects of marijuana and Marinol, among the AIDS patients who took the anti-HIV combination therapy (Ethos) (Institute of Medicine 125). In other words, the results revealed that there had been no indication of any immune system damage.
In sum, the claim of the famous AIDS specialist in the person of Doctor Mary Romeyn who cited that even during the early studies on marijuana in the 1970s, the negative effect of the substance in the human immune system has not been shown to be triggered by excessive use of drugs by recreational users (Ethos). My conclusion, then, is that it is better to consider marijuana and its medicinal value, rather than the socio-political effects it holds since it is considered as an effective medicine for HIV/AIDS patients (Logos) (Institute of Medicine 126).
Post Four/Opposing Perspective: The adverse effects of marijuana outweigh its medicinal value.
Essentially, my argument is that marijuana does not differ significantly the other kinds of opiate drugs since it does not produce addiction obtained from morphine. In other words, the abstinence of marijuana will not cause the physiological withdrawal syndrome of its users (Metacommentary). For example, the continued use of marijuana is known to result in psychological dependence and deprivation leading to anxiety, fear, fretfulness, irritability, restlessness, and even a state of depression (Pathos) (Goode 159). In other words, this is the type of depression that may cause suicidal fantasies, episodes of mutilating actions or actual suicidal attempts (Pathos).
In sum, then, other detrimental effects of marijuana include the splitting of consciousness, where the user shall experience depersonalization or de-realization after it has entered the human system (Metacommentary). Medical experts reported that in one case, a child who was accidentally exposed to marijuana resulted to amnesia (Ethos) (Doweiko 152). They say that marijuana use resulted to impaired reflexes that can last up to 24 hours after the person’s last use of this particular substance. For example, a more serious and rare adverse reaction of marijuana use may develop to a psychotic reaction leading to a drug-induced “psychosis” that will only clear-up after seven days (Logos) (Doweiko 153).
My conclusion, then, is that 25 years of research of this substance have concluded that marijuana use can bring negative outcomes on the perception and memory of an individual (Metacommentary). In other words, substance will accelerate the heart rate leading to cardiac diseases. Essentially, my point is that evidence showed that chronic use of marijuana results to the physical changes in the brain. Medical experts revealed that the smoke that comes from marijuana cigarettes is more harmful compared to the smoke that comes from the tobacco substance (Ethos) (Doweiko 157).
My argument is that decriminalization of marijuana in several states that allowed marijuana for medicinal purposes also increased the number of recreational users for the past decades. Although marijuana has been proven to hold medicinal benefits, unregulated use of the substance can cause harmful effects to the human system. The primary ingredient of marijuana is the compound “tetrahydrocannabinol” or THC for brevity (Logos) (Doweiko 157). In other words, the compound produces a significant effect on the human brain by creating a sense of euphoria among the users. Further, it gives the “high” sensation that marijuana users experiences while they see bright colors, go through rapid hallucinations and uncontrollable laughter (Logos) (Grady, “5 Reasons Why Legalizing Marijuana Stinks). They say that after the euphoria lapses, the users experience a fear, anxiety, and depression which can also permanently affected the memory. For example, smoking marijuana also induces the heart beat by 20 to 100 percent (Logos). Medical experts claim that the frequent use of marijuana of at least five times or more may lead to a fatal heart attack (Ethos). Aside from these, the smoke of marijuana can also affect the lungs which may eventually lead to cancer after having been exposed to toxic chemicals of at least five cigarettes per day (Logos) (Grady, “5 Reasons Why Legalizing Marijuana Stinks”).
My conclusion, then, is that decriminalization and legalization of medical marijuana must be the objective of every state in order to cure the sick people suffering from neuropathic pain, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. To put it in another way, there has been no evidence that will show that decriminalizing marijuana will promote recreational use of the public (Metacommentary).
Essentially, I am arguing that legalizing the use of medical marijuana is beneficial for the State since it can serve as income-generating measure (Metacommentary). At the same time, it will also decriminalize the acts of patients who use marijuana to relieve neuropathic pain. To put it in another way, the legalizing the use of medical marijuana will prevent the arrest and imprisonment of seriously ill patients who use marijuana with their doctors’ approval (Logos). In the future, the best way to decriminalize the use of marijuana by sick people is the enactment of medical marijuana laws of all states. In short, the regulation of the substance will not only be for the benefit of the sick people, but the tax funds collected can be used to defray the expenses of the government (Metacommentary). Another argument that will support the legalization of marijuana is that it has been proven to possess valid therapeutic purposes to cure HIV/AIDS patients (Logos). In sum, the legalization of medical marijuana will does not send wrong message to children since they should be informed that marijuana can only be used by seriously sick patients (Pathos). My conclusion, then, is that medical marijuana has should be legalized since there is no proof that it can cause significant harm to the immune system. Therefore, there is no valid reason why medical marijuana should remain illegal.
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