Today, 25 states and Washington D.C. have existing laws and resolutions that allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for treatment of various illnesses or are petitioning the federal government to lift the ban on its medical use. In 10 states, similar laws have either been repealed or have expired. And, 15 states have never had medicinal marijuana laws.
The majority of states, including our own, whose laws "establish controlled substances therapeutic research programs for patients suffering from glaucoma, cancer, and other life or sense-threatening diseases (CNN.com)" have already taken the right steps in path to the legalization of medicinal marijuana. It is now time for medicinal marijuana to be legalized on the federal level.
Critics of medicinal marijuana say that there is no proof that smoked marijuana is a better quality remedy than currently available therapies, and insist that using marijuana before the FDA determines its effectiveness and safety may do more harm than help.
However, there have been many tests that show that marijuana, when used in a controlled manner, has many positive effects for those in need. Marijuana's active agent, THC, reduces the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Because it also alleviates pre-treatment anxiety, patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy are more apt to continue their treatments for a longer time than without it. AIDS patients benefit because marijuana increases appetite, and prevents the loss of lean muscle mass. Multiple sclerosis sufferers find marijuana beneficial because it reduces muscle pain and spasticity caused by the disease. Marijuana may also help some M.S. patients with bladder control problems and helps to relieve tremors. Epileptics can benefit from marijuana because it may prevent epileptic seizures in some patients. Finally, those suffering from glaucoma find it helpful because when smoked, Marijuana reduces pressure within the eye.
Doctors today can, and do, prescribe more...