Marijuana as a Medical Treatment Controversial Issue Term Paper

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Medicinal Marijuana Argument

Natural herbs have been used for medicinal purposes longer than recorded history continuing even today. Human societies worldwide incorporate both naturally occurring substances and those cultivated locally into remedies for symptoms of medical ailments (Brecher, 1972). Like many other types of vegetation, marijuana is used to alleviate many medical symptoms including insomnia and nausea, which makes it useful as an adjunctive palliative therapy to chemotherapy and anti-cancer radiation, to minimize the unpleasant side effects associated with those forms of treatments.

Similarly, marijuana is useful to reduce the severity of glaucoma and to reverse some of the wasting symptoms and nausea often associated with AIDS (AMMA, 2007). Both recent research and anecdotal evidence from patients have indicated that smoking marijuana may be useful to reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis as well (AMMA, 2007).

Legislative Paternalism and medicinal Marijuana:

California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in 1996 when dispensed through state licensed distributors, pursuant to medical prescriptions issued by licensed physicians. However, California state law is still contradicted by federal laws that still absolutely prohibit its use whether for recreational purposes or medical applications. Consequently, by virtue of the superiority of contradicting federal legislation, in the United States, the use of marijuana is subject to criminal prosecution, even in California where state law now specifically authorizes such use (Johnson, 2007).

On one hand, the refusal of the federal government to authorize the medicinal use of marijuana is justified, because marijuana has not proven itself a safe and effective form of treatment for any recognized disease in the manner that all drugs approved for human medical use must be proven safe and effective through four phases of clinical trials. However, in light of the fact that tobacco smoking is legally permissible, the prohibition against medicinal use of marijuana is extremely difficult to justify, since tobacco is not useful for any beneficial purposes whatsoever. In fact, cigarette smoking has been conclusively demonstrated to be the cause of more preventable harm in the form of human disease and morbidity than all illicit drug use, alcoholism, vehicular accidents, and even violent crime, combined.

The strongest argument for legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana is that there is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Marijuana as a Medical Treatment Controversial Issue.  (2007, November 21).  Retrieved December 12, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Marijuana as a Medical Treatment Controversial Issue."  21 November 2007.  Web.  12 December 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Marijuana as a Medical Treatment Controversial Issue."  November 21, 2007.  Accessed December 12, 2019.