The issue of legalizing marijuana is a hot topic these days, mainly because of the noise being created by the lobbyists who are clamoring for legislation that will decriminalize the possession and the use of the substance. Not everyone, however, is aware as to why there is a need for such legislation.
That is because for many of us, marijuana is nothing more than a weed – a dangerous weed that gets people high, inhibits their ability to think clearly, messes up with their psychomotor functions, and generally gets them into harm’s way. The harm that marijuana poses has caused it to be listed as an illegal substance in the first place.
And yet, scientists have shown that there are medical benefits to using marijuana for certain people. This is the main point that lobbyists are pushing in order to legalize marijuana. What are these benefits and advantages, and are they truly advantageous to us?
One of the cited advantages of medical marijuana is the fact that it can help manage pain felt by trauma patients, cancer patients and patients experiencing nerve damage. Marijuana has an active chemical component called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which can act as an analgesic that helps patients relax and deal with the pain.
Another benefit that scientists have found in medical marijuana is that it can help prevent the worsening of Alzheimer’s disease among the elderly. According to studies, THC in marijuana has the ability to arrest the formation of plaques in the brain.
HIV/AIDS patients as well as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy also benefit from the use of medical marijuana. These patients are known to have difficulty in stimulating appetites and in throwing up what they eat. Studies have shown that marijuana helps them eat by inducing their appetite. The plant also helps them keep their food down.
Among brain cancer patients, it is revealed that THC in marijuana causes cancerous cells to undergo a process called autophagy. It means that the cancerous cells feed upon themselves and thus disappear, leaving healthy brain tissue alone.
These are just some of the many advantages that scientists claim medical marijuana to have. THC in marijuana has also shown positive development when it comes to treating asthma, glaucoma, lung cancer and breast cancer.
The Caveat with Legalizing Marijuana
The research done in recent years makes it impossible to deny that there is something good about medical marijuana. The plant does have properties that will greatly help sick people who need it. The problem here is that lobbyists are not just pushing for legalizing marijuana for medical uses but also for recreational uses, thankfully with certain limits.
Taxation is among the reasons given for legalizing marijuana for purposes other than medicinal. The proponents of marijuana legalization claim that the government is losing money on not being able to impose taxes on the production and sale of marijuana, as well as on prosecuting and incarcerating people caught possessing or using it.
Many lobbyists also believe that legalizing marijuana will bring its production and sale out in the open. This, they say, will make the streets safer because activities involving marijuana would be more effectively regulated.
Proponents for making marijuana legal for general usage seem to forget that marijuana has harmful, long-term effects that can kick in from continuous use. There are substances in marijuana that can degrade our ability to create short-term memory, maintain attention span, form the right judgments, and other things. This may lead to more harm than any good that medical marijuana can do.
Should marijuana be legalized for general usage or should the legislation be limited only to the use of medical marijuana? You decide.