Why should marijuana be legalized for medicinal purposes

Why Should Marijuana Be Legalized For Medicinal Purposes?

Zencanna
December 30, 2019 0 Comment

Why should marijuana be legalized for medicinal purposes – Medical marijuana is a plant extracted medicine, derived from cannabis sativa and cannabis Indica species of the cannabis plant, which is used to treat ailments and symptoms of some grave physical and mental issues.

Medical marijuana, although being considered illegal at the federal level, is still proven at the state level (accepted in 33 states across U.S.) to have medicinal properties. Medical marijuana has been used for treating pain, nausea (associated with chemotherapy), muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, low appetite, autism, epilepsy and psychological disorders to the tune of anxiety and depression as well.

The drug, primarily consisting of compounds – THC, CBD and CBN, is found potent in treating diseases. While THC is a psychoactive compound, responsible for giving that feeling of “high”, CBD is more subdued in its effects. The latter is not psychoactive and is more potent with its medicinal properties. In fact, a certain proportion of both the compounds will be found in a number of marijuana drugs for treating medial conditions.

Related Article: Generational Attitudes Towards the Legalization of Cannabis

Why isn’t marijuana plant, an FDA approved medicine?

Despite beneficial medical properties, both cannabis and cannabidiol products have not found approval, from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Questions and endless controversies had raised a lot of doubts about the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana drugs and not given FDA the courage to go ahead with the approval.

Medical Cannabis Plant
Medical Marijuana Plant

Medical marijuana, like any drug, does have side effects like dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness etc. In fact, with higher doses, it poses the threat of paranoia and mood swings, to the tune of hallucinations as well.

However, despite the lack of approval from FDA, many state legislatures gave green signal and allowed the use of marijuana and CBD for medical treatment. The treatment, however, requires written recommendation from a licensed physician.

Due to the approval of several state legislatures, now almost 33 states and Washington DC have legalized medical marijuana

Reasons for legalizing medical marijuana

Despite endless controversies, medical marijuana has been found to be at par with its effect and side effects of any other medicinal drug. Let’s understand the reasons for legalizing the marijuana drug for medical purposes, through the following.

  1. Marijuana for medicinal purposes
  2. Marijuana as an alternative medicine
  3. Legalized marijuana is safer
  4. Marijuana is safer than alcohol and tobacco
  5. Legalizing marijuana eliminates the risk of easy accessibility
  6. Legalizing marijuana would prevent crime and imprisonment
  7. Legalizing would curb the black market
  8. Legalized marijuana products can be used for several purposes
  9. Medical benefits of marijuana
  10. Additional source of revenue for the nation
  11. Tax revenue income
  12. Legalizing marijuana would spur into creation of jobs
  13. Investors are attracted

Why Should Marijuana Be Legalized For Medicinal Purposes?

Marijuana For Medical Use
Marijuana For Medical Purposes

Marijuana for medicinal purposes

Compared to painkillers, medicinal marijuana has lesser side effects and assists in a positive overall health of patients as well. Chances of overdose is almost non-existent, making medical marijuana a very safe drug, in terms of overdose or even death.

Pain killers, which have opioids such as Morphine or Oxycodone are not just habit forming, but are also lethal when taken in wrong doses, therefore making it riskier as compared to medical cannabis.

Marijuana as an alternative medicine

Medical marijuana is not on the standard list of medical care, yet as an alternative medicine, it is a potent medicine for treating a list of symptoms, including the ones which arise in Cancer.

Symptoms like nausea and pain management due to chemotherapy are symptoms, which medical marijuana can address as an alternative medicine.

Legalized marijuana is safer

Legalization of marijuana and regulation and education for the same go hand in hand. It is for this reason that marijuana, when legalized, will not lead to increased use. This has been seen with many states, such as Colorado, which witnessed a dip in marijuana, post its legalization status. 

Marijuana is safer than alcohol and tobacco

Marijuana has been researched and found to be the safer drug in the class of recreational drugs. According to the research results, cannabis is safer than alcohol, making the latter 114 times more deadly than the former. Also considering the addictive and toxic nature of nicotine, cocaine and heroin, marijuana was found to be less deadly than the rest.

Legalizing marijuana eliminates the risk of easy accessibility

Like mentioned above, legalizing marijuana would ensure a strong surveillance and regulation. In fact, this has been proved with states, which proceeded with legalizing medical marijuana.

For instance, in Florida, with legalization came in strong regulation and vigilance, where patients gained access to medical marijuana, only on the grounds of qualifying conditions. In fact, even if the patients qualified, they needed to visit a state licensed physician for written recommendation, stating the period of time during which they needed the medical marijuana.

Legalizing marijuana would prevent crime and imprisonment

Legalizing medical marijuana would push out the illegal drugs from the market, reducing the crime rate significantly. Crimes to the tune of thefts or smuggling across state boundaries would be minimized as there would no need to indulge with a legal marijuana market around.

In fact, researchers have found a decline in theft and violent crime in the states (which legalized marijuana), sharing border with Mexico.

Legalizing would curb the black market

one of the major threats of legalized marijuana markets are the illicit, illegal, yet flourishing market of marijuana. However, legalizing helps keep a tab on black market. This can be seen through states like Colorado and Washington, which saw a dip in illegal Mexican drug cartels.

The legalization in the states helped push a variety of cannabis products from the black market to the legal, structured marijuana markets. In fact, legalization has helped improve the tax structure around the product, better quality control of the drug and reduced associated violence around the drug as well.

Legalized marijuana products can be used for several purposes

Medical marijuana can be used for treating chronic pain, nausea and vomiting arising due to chemotherapy and spasticity from MS. The cannabinoids in medical marijuana can kill cancer cells, slow tumor growth and even improve appetite and weight gain in people with cancer as well.

Medical benefits of marijuana

Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Cannabinoids in medical marijuana help in, 

  • Increasing appetite
  • Reducing nausea
  • Decreasing pain and inflammation, including swelling and redness
  • Controlling epileptic seizures
  • Effective in controlling two grave forms of childhood epilepsy Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes
  • Treats diseases that affect immune system like AIDS/HIV
  • Helps kills cancer cells and reduce tumor growth
  • Helps treat multiple sclerosis, which causes gradual loss of muscle control
  • Good to treat addictions and substance use disorders
  • Mental disorders can be well treated. Anxiety and depression are some of the disorders that can well treated with medical marijuana.

Additional source of revenue for the nation

Tax revenue income

Legalizing cannabis in states like Colorado (collected more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees), California, Nevada, Massachusetts and many more have had instant effect on industrial growth.

The legal changes and a proper legal framework worked in favor of boosting the industry for legal cannabis companies, including those who wanted to do research and development in the area of marijuana based medical products and those who worked towards the distribution and cultivation of marijuana.

The booming marijuana sector in the legalized states have increased tax revenues as a result of pouring investments into the sector along with capex plans of existing cannabis companies.

Legalizing marijuana would spur into creation of jobs

Legal framework or industry boost would immediately manifest into setting up of marijuana nurseries and dispensaries, which would not just add to the creation of jobs, but also boost the economic output, at both the state and federal level.

ICF study estimates at least 81,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in California as a result of legalized marijuana sales. In fact, the study has projected an increase in total labor income for California, to the tune of $3.5 billion.

Investors are attracted

Legal marijuana will be highly beneficial, both at the state and federal level. A legal framework will allow to secure the investment portfolios of investors across the country.

Most of the investors are finding it difficult to capitalize on the growing marijuana industry due to marijuana being illegal at the federal level. If marijuana becomes legal, then many of the successful marijuana companies will have the option of working with over-the-counter exchanges (which is dismal right now), therefore improving the liquidity and space for investors into the industry.

Pros and Cons of Legal Marijuana

While the debate over the therapeutic and medicinal properties of marijuana is an endless and ongoing debate, there are still certain pointers, by and large, which do hold in favor of legalizing marijuana. 

Pros and Cons of Legal Marijuana
Legal Marijuana

The following will list out both, the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana.

Pros of Legal Marijuana

  • Marijuana is effective in relieving nausea and vomiting, induced during chemotherapy. The drug is known to completely eliminate vomiting during the course.
  • Being safer than other painkillers, marijuana is prescribed to treat symptoms of pain management. Opioids, prescribed otherwise, are highly habit forming and addictive in nature, therefore posing a threat for long-term usage in treating chronic pain.
  • Marijuana is known to relieve spasticity of muscles, a symptom associated with Multiple Sclerosis and paralysis.
  • Compared to tobacco, marijuana is safe to for smoking. In fact, studies have revealed that smoking marijuana alone does not increase the risk of lung diseases, which is quite high with tobacco.
  • Marijuana is known to treat appetite loss, which is usually a condition associate with certain types of cancers and HIV/AIDS.

Cons of Legal Marijuana

  • Excess usage of marijuana is known to impact and cause dizziness, short-term memory and even hallucinations.
  • Marijuana can also impair the cognitive ability.
  • Smoked marijuana contains cancer causing compounds
  • Marijuana does carry the risk of abuse and addiction, when not monitored
  • Marijuana is known to have caused a high number of automobile and workplace accidents, due to its properties of causing dizziness

Conclusion

No matter whether the federal government legalizes marijuana or not, the marijuana sector is in itself flourishing and poised to touch a whopping figure of $150 billion in global marijuana sales, in a few years. 

The industry is on the growth ladder and the companies, with their sky-high predictions will either touch the skies, or fall flat. Despite the outcome, the industry is and will continue to garner investor’s attention. Hence, if interested in getting into the sector, weigh your pros and cons wisely before investing your time and money into the much talked about sector-marijuana.

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