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Marijuana is a hot topic in today’s world, with everyone having some sort of opinion on the legality status of the plant Unlike most of today’s issues however, pot has been hot for quite sometime, with millennia of being smoked by humans under its belt. While the time marijuana has spent being packed into pipes does not affect its’ current state, it is none the less a valuable thing to consider. While drugs like crack and methamphetamine are manufactured and then used to ravage lives, pot has spent a very long time bringing spiritual visions to shaman and making art kids giggle at parties, As more research has been done on marijuana it’s also being shown to have more health benefits than previously thoughti It‘s for these health benefits and the low risk associated with the drug that it should be made legal for medical and recreational use One of the more recent developments in the push for pot has been a young girl named Charlotte Figii Charlotte was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a disease that induces seizures much like epilepsy only much rarer and harder to treat (Young).
From the age of 3 months Charlotte started having “frequent seizures lasting two to four hours, and she was hospitalized repeatedly” (Young).
Her family tried every drug the doctors could throw at her but nothing seemed to work, When it got to the point where the drugs were affecting Charlotte’s cognitive activity and behavior, while still having almost 300 seizures weekly, her parents needed to do something drastic Young writes about Charlotte’s father Matt doing research to find a solution to their nightmare: He found a video online of a California boy whose Dravet was being successfully treated with cannabis The strain was low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound in marijuana that’s psychoactive, It was also high in cannabidiol, or GED, which has medicinal properties but no psychoactivity.
Scientists think the CBD quiets the excessive electrical and chemical activity in the brain that causes seizures. It had worked in this boy; his parents saw a major reduction in the boy’s seizures. With this new research in hand Charlotte’s family set out to find a strain of marijuana that had those properties. Once in hand and in Charlotte, the marijuana stopped her seizures for a week, something no other medicine had ever been able to do (Young), If the family had lived somewhere other than Colorado it’s possible that the lifesaving medication, which the family had been sternly opposed to before Dravet syndrome shook their world, would have never reached Charlotte in time, The poor girl whose heart stopped multiple times from the terrible seizures may have succumbed to an illness that she is now able to treat (Young). In addition to that special case however, there are multiple more uses for medical marijuana.
The American Cancer society even considers it to be helpful. The United States government lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no medicinal potential, This already has been proven false, however due to this the American Cancer Society lists two drugs, “Dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of THC, and a man-made cannabinoid drug called nabilone” (Marijuana and Cancer). These have both passed FDA approval and are used to treat certain cancer related ailments, usually to help with pain and nausea (Marijuana and Cancer). Even Doctor Sanjay Gupta, CNN‘s Chief Medical Correspondent who was previously outspoken against pot, went back on that. Doctor Gupta writes “[m]edical marijuana is not new, and the medical community has been writing about it for a long time. There were in fact hundreds of journal articles, mostly documenting the benefits. Most of those papers, however, were written between the years 1840 and 1930.” most papers after this time became skewed due to the prohibition of marijuana, Gupta explained most research done on marijuana during this time was set up in a way to look only for the negatives.
Doctor Gupta continues: Keep in mind that up until 1943, marijuana was part of the United States drug pharmacopeia. One of the conditions for which it was prescribed was neuropathic pain. It is a miserable pain that’s tough to treat, My own patients have described it as “lancinating, burning and a barrage of pins and needles.” While marijuana has long been documented to be effective for this awful pain, the most common medications prescribed today come from the poppy plant, including morphine, oxycodone and dilaudid. Here is the problem, Most of these medications don’t work very well for this kind of pain, and tolerance is a real problem. Most frightening to me is that someone dies in the United States every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose, mostly accidentali Every 19 minutes. It is a horrifying statistic. As much as I searched, I could not find a documented case of death from marijuana overdose Sanjay‘s research shows marijuana’s use as a pain reliever has been documented since well before the 1930’s, In addition to the massive amount of benefits, it would be practically impossible to overdose on marijuana.
A study cited by Wing stated, “a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying.” Both Gupta and Wing said that there has been no record of someone dying from marijuana overdose Wing also suggested “THC has significant therapeutic value to patients suffering from cancer, AIDS or glaucoma” due to a study he found. While marijuana has many benefits, many rumors about the drug exist. One of the more popular rumors is that pot is a gateway drug, meaning that using it leads to using other drugs, Not only is alcohol the more likely gateway drug, but Nathan believes most people do not realize that “the illegal purchase of marijuana exposes consumers to dealers who push the hard stuffi Given marijuana’s popularity in this country, the consumption of more dangerous drugs could actually decrease if pot were purchased at a liquor store rather than on the street corner where heroin and crack are sold.” In addition marijuana “could actually be the safest drug available, after a study found it is actually 114 times less deadly than alcohol” (Waugh) The same study also documented heroin, cocaine, tobacco, ecstasy, and crystal meth.
With the increased legality in some states, high driving has started to become a concern for some. According to Wing, “Colorado, Washington and federal authorities have all taken steps to keep people off the road after using marijuana” This drugged driving will be taken care of much like drunk driving has been, Marijuana seems like it would never have been the menace some claim it is, but Nathan shed light on the situation: The credit goes to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which in 1937 pushed through laws ending the growth, trade and consumption of all forms of cannabis, including the inert but commercially useful hemp plantr America’s ban on the so»called ”Weed of Madness” was based on bad science and fabricated stories of violence perpetrated under the influence The madness of cannabis can be ascribed not so much to its users, but to those who sought to criminalize the drug so soon after the monumental failure of alcohol Prohibition.
It is unclear why the US has stuck with the prohibition of marijuana as long as they have with the abundance or research out there. The battle for cannabis cannot be won in a night, Whether right or wrong, the United States has run smear campaigns on marijuana for nearly a century, so it is even more amazing that it has as much support as it does now As more research is done society learns more about cannabis. As these studies continue however, what’s been found so far was good news for the plant. Marijuana is without a doubt a drug, just as alcohol, and tobacco, and even sugar are; but of these four weed is much closer to sugar than the others While it’s not for everyone, marijuana has not hurt many people, and it‘s helped a whole lot more.
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