Nursing and the Law Essay

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Nursing and the Law

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Over the last several years, the issue of medical marijuana has been increasingly brought to the forefront. This is because a variety of experts have lined up on both sides of this issue touting the benefits and drawbacks. An example of the differences in opinions can be seen by looking no further; than with in the U.S. government itself. Where, Judge Francis Young (a DEA Administrative Law judge) said, "The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record." While, John Walters (the Director of National Drug Policy) said, "Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs, and immune system. It impairs learning and interferes with memory, perception, and judgment. Smoked marijuana contains cancer-causing compounds and has been implicated in a high percentage of automobile crashes and workplace accidents." ("Top Ten Pros and Cons," 2006) the issue becomes further complicated when you consider the fact that 14 states have decriminalized use of medical marijuana. (Morrow, 2004) as a result, a heated debate has been taking place in both the legal / medical community regarding the various merits and demerits of medical marijuana. To fully understand the complexity of this issue means that an examination of the views of both sides must be undertaken. This will provide the greatest insights as to what are the real world effects of medical marijuana.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Essay on Nursing and the Law Assignment

Marijuana was used for a variety of medical purposes until the 1940's to include: it helps increase appetite, relieve pain, to treat asthma and migraine headaches. Since that time, there has been a consistent effort within the U.S. government itself to curb usage. Where, billions of dollars were spent highlighting the dangers and arresting / prosecuting those who are using or selling the drug. (General, 2007) Yet, the overall number of people using marijuana has continued to remain the same. A good example of this can be seen in the total number of people who are using the drug regularly. Where, there are currently 3.1 million people using medical marijuana daily. (General, 2007) Because such a large amount of the population is continuing to use the drug, has helped fuel many of the arguments that proponent of medical marijuana will make to include: it has been proven to treat numerous diseases / ailments. One of the biggest reasons why medical marijuana has been decriminalized in many states is: because of the overwhelming evidence of the various disease and ailments that it has been known to treat. To include: nausea / vomiting (a common ailment for chemotherapy), appetite loss and reduce stress / pain. Together, these different ailments are common in conditions such as: cancer, depression, HIV / AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Then, when you combine this with the fact that marijuana has been used to treat ailments through out the centuries and it is not addictive, has meant that there is increased pressure to decriminalize medical marijuana. (Morrow, 2004) as a result, many doctors have begun prescribing marijuana to treat a number of different conditions. With, Dr. Donald Abrams a cancer specialist at San Francisco General Hospital saying, "Every day I see people with nausea secondary to chemotherapy, depression, trouble sleeping and pain. I can recommend one drug [marijuana] for all those things, as opposed to writing five different prescriptions." (Foreman, 2009) What this shows, is how the medical community has found that marijuana can be used to treat a number of different conditions. Because it is less addictive, means that the overall amounts of pain and suffering are less.

Drawbacks of Medical Marijuana

While proponents make a compelling argument about the true benefits of medical marijuana, the opponents have their own view points the most notable would include: it can have a number of negative effects on your health. Marijuana is a drug, which changes the chemical balance within the brain. When this takes place, it means that there are going to be a number of negative side effects from its use… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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