Marijuana is generally accepted as being valuable in relieving pain and the unpleasant symptoms of diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, glaucoma, and epilepsy. Yet in most of the United States, the medical use of marijuana is illegal. However, a nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center in March 2001 indicated that 73% of those polled favored the use of medical marijuana. Many experts feel that voters do not know enough about the subject to make an informed opinion and more research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of marijuana before it should be accepted for medical use.
Research has been limited, but on November 28, 2001, the Drug Enforcement Administration granted final approval to a university study of medical marijuana with the hope of introducing some science into this emotionally charged debate. The controversy about whether or not medical marijuana should be legal is widespread. Voters in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have approved its use. Arizona has passed a law that permits a doctor to prescribe any Schedule I drug (including marijuana). But marijuana has not been approved by authorities who claim they know more than the voters, and federal law still makes it illegal. Obtaining marijuana, even in a state that has it legal, can be complicated. On May 14, 2001, a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the challenge by the federal government against 6 California distributors, known as buyers’ clubs. These groups distribute medical marijuana to large numbers of people who have doctors’ recommendations. According to the Supreme Court, marijuana remains in Schedule I because it has no currently acceptable medical use and should remain classified with heroin. This was a blow to those who favor its medical use, but many patients continue to obtain medical marijuana by growing their own. Others get it through friends who buy it illegally, or they obtain it from buyers’ clubs that are legal by state law but not federally illegal.
Campaigns for compassionate use of medical marijuana continue. The National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine released the following statement in 1999: “Until a non-smoker, rapid-onset cannabinoid drug delivery system becomes available, we acknowledge that there is no clear alternative for people suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana, such as pain or AIDS wasting.” But the American Medical Association remains neutral, saying that more research is needed on the recommending it. Some doctors point out that the patient’s dose of marijuana cannot be controlled since the content of THC, the chemicals that produces the desired effect, varies in different plants and therefore in different cigarettes. Marijuana contains many chemicals. Some say that marijuana is extremely unattractive to most medical patients. Others claim it is very helpful. A British drug company, GW Pharmaceuticals, is developing a cannabis-based drug that has the pain-relieving benefits without the “unwanted psychoactive side effects.” Another drug, Marinol (dronabinol), contains cannabis, but whether or not it offers as much relief as a marijuana cigarette is debatable. Finding a delivery system as good as the lungs is one of the goals of those who deal with the controversy about lifting restrictions on medical marijuana.
Being a Recovering Addict I believe Marijuana is still the GATEWAY to addiction. So believing this is the right thing for our future I think we will have MAJOR drug abuse in our society. It will lead to addiction in so many ways. People STRUGGLE to HARD for recovery that this is a NIGHTMARE for addicts. We have enough pain relievers out there to help people in the right way so I am against this to be LEGALIZED. We need a clear mind to deal with our lives and families so if you are reading this and you are in recovery I hope you feel the same way and we can keep it out of our laws. We will have real trouble if this passes.. Thanks for your time and reading this if you are in RECOVERY stay in RECOVERY don’t let this over POWER you.