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With recreational weed sales coming, what will happen to medical marijuana in Nevada?
Marijuana is also known as pot, grass and weed but its formal name is actually cannabis. It comes from the leaves and flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. It is considered an illegal substance in the US and many countries and possession of marijuana is a crime punishable by law. The FDA classifies marijuana as Schedule I, substances which have a very high potential for abuse and have no proven medical use. Over the years several studies claim that some substances found in marijuana have medicinal use, especially in terminal diseases such as cancer and AIDS. This started a fierce debate over the pros and cons of the use of medical marijuana. To settle this debate, the Institute of Medicine published the famous 1999 IOM report entitled Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. The report was comprehensive but did not give a clear cut yes or no answer. The opposite camps of the medical marijuana issue often cite part of the report in their advocacy arguments. However, although the report clarified many things, it never settled the controversy once and for all.
Let's look at the issues that support why medical marijuana should be legalized.
(1) Marijuana is a naturally occurring herb and has been used from South America to Asia as an herbal medicine for millennia. In this day and age when the all natural and organic are important health buzzwords, a naturally occurring herb like marijuana might be more appealing to and safer for consumers than synthetic drugs.
(2) Marijuana has strong therapeutic potential. Several studies, as summarized in the IOM report, have observed that cannabis can be used as analgesic, e.g. to treat pain. A few studies showed that THC, a marijuana component is effective in treating chronic pain experienced by cancer patients. However, studies on acute pain such as those experienced during surgery and trauma have inconclusive reports. A few studies, also summarized in the IOM report, have demonstrated that some marijuana components have antiemetic properties and are, therefore, effective against nausea and vomiting, which are common side effects of cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some researchers are convinced that cannabis has some therapeutic potential against neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Specific compounds extracted from marijuana have strong therapeutic potential. Cannobidiol (CBD), a major component of marijuana, has been shown to have antipsychotic, anticancer and antioxidant properties. Other cannabinoids have been shown to prevent high intraocular pressure (IOP), a major risk factor for glaucoma. Drugs that contain active ingredients present in marijuana but have been synthetically produced in the laboratory have been approved by the US FDA. One example is Marinol, an antiemetic agent indicated for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Its active ingredient is dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
(3) One of the major proponents of medical marijuana is the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a US-based organization. Many medical professional societies and organizations have expressed their support. As an example, The American College of Physicians, recommended a re-evaluation of the Schedule I classification of marijuana in their 2008 position paper. ACP also expresses its strong support for research into the therapeutic role of marijuana as well as exemption from federal criminal prosecution; civil liability; or professional sanctioning for physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Similarly, protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws.
(4) Medical marijuana is legally used in many developed countries The argument of if they can do it, why not us? is another strong point. Some countries, including Canada, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel, and Finland have legalized the therapeutic use of marijuana under strict prescription control. Some states in the US are also allowing exemptions.
The Highs And Lows Of Marijuana Use
The legalization of medical marijuana has become a hot debate in many states in America. This controversy also rages in other countries around the world. Many nations have recognized the medicinal properties and value in extracts of this plant while others have not. Canada, Spain, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, and Portugal are among the nations that have legally allowed the use of cannabis for health concerns. In the United States, several states have voted to allow its use for medically approved reasons as long as it's prescribed within a certain legal framework.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about medical marijuana:
- Where does it come from?
This product is derived from the hemp plant and is referred to by a host of other nicknames, such as pot, grass, weed, and Mary Jane.
- What states have voted to make it legal?
So far, fourteen states and the District of Columbia have allowed cannabis to become legal - Washington State, Washington, DC, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Six states now allow dispensaries to sell the plant, including Colorado, California, New Mexico, Montana, Rhode Island, and Maine. The state of Maryland does not consider it legally allowed, but if a person can prove that he or she is using it for health reasons, the repercussions of possession are not as severe.
- What illnesses and maladies does this product help with?
There are arrays of medicinal uses associated with medical cannabis. Some distressing issues such as nausea, unexpected weight loss associated with illness or chemotherapy, premenstrual tension and pain, and insomnia have been successfully alleviated. Multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and spastic problems have also responded well when treated with hemp medicinal byproducts. ADHD, otherwise known as attention deficit disorder, has shown improvement as well as Tourettes syndrome, Huntington's disease, glaucoma, and Alzheimer's.
- How is medical marijuana administered into the body?
It can be taken in a variety of forms, including pill form, liquid marinol, vaporized, cooked into food, or smoked.
- What kind of foods can this product be cooked into?
Many baked goods, such as banana bread, brownies, and cookies are excellent ways to ingest the substance in a tasty product.
- How does a patient obtain this drug?
A medical doctor must write a prescription and a patient must become a M.M. card holder. There are many websites with links to clinics and health care practitioners who are advocates of this medicine. In certain locations in states that have legalized this product, there are storefront operations working as dispensaries, such as along the boardwalk of Venice Beach, California.
- Growing one's own medication: Another way to obtain access to this substance is by growing your own plants. An M.M. card is one way to have legal permission to plant your own garden of cannabis.
Medical marijuana is becoming legal in various states in the U.S.A. and countries around the world. The debate regarding the pros and cons of legalization still continues.