People Who Use Medical Marijuana Favor Legalization Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1276 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

¶ … legalization of marijuana for medicinal use is a controversial topic in American society. Several states have enacted laws allowing the sale and consumption of marijuana for medicinal purposes, but so far, only one state is actually considering allowing recreational marijuana consumption as well. One of the reasons that the medicinal use of marijuana is controversial is that the processes and regulations for qualifying as a medical user are state-controlled and subject to widespread abuse, such as where physicians routinely dispense prescriptions without rigorous limitation by medical criteria. As a result, the legal medicinal use of marijuana is contributing to the reduction of social constraints to recreational use. In some states, recreational users can obtain a valid license designating them patients with medicinal marijuana prescriptions. Meanwhile, there are patients who are legitimately entitled to medicinal marijuana who refrain from availing themselves of it, precisely because they know that marijuana is generally considered an illicit drug and they associate with a very negative social stigma. The other reason that the topic is controversial is that marijuana use is still illegal in every state under federal law, irrespective of state laws. However, the decision to prosecute or ignore violations of federal law has not been high priority and the cultivation and dispensation of medicinal marijuana is regulated and taxed by various state authorities all while being susceptible to immediate closure and prosecution under federal law simultaneously.

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Page, Verhoef, Stebbins, Metz, and Levy (2003) conducted a qualitative study of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients in connection with the use of medicinal marijuana to mitigate their MS symptoms. The study consisted of a survey mailed to MS patients inquiring into their relative awareness of the potential benefits of medicinal marijuana for their condition, whether or not they had ever tried marijuana to alleviate their MS symptoms, why they chose not to do so, whether they supported the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and to measure their subjective beliefs about the degree to which the medicinal marijuana was helpful. The hypothesis was that prior experience with marijuana would correlate with greater perceived relief.

Because patients (and members of society more generally) exhibit such widely differing views about medicinal marijuana, Reinarman, Nunberg, Lanthier, and Heddleston (2011) conducted a qualitative study of patients seeking medicinal marijuana licenses at a network of distribution clinics. Their hypothesis was that certain demographic and other similarities (such as prior recreational drug use) would be more common than could be expected by chance among those individuals who chose to pursue the route to obtaining a license for medicinal marijuana. That hypothesis was confirmed.

Because of the degree to which legalization of medicinal marijuana has been linked to recreational use, Khatapoush and Hallfors (2004) hypothesized that public attitudes about marijuana use and actual marijuana use patterns have changed in the 8 years since the legalization of medicinal marijuana in California in 1996 that has permitted medicinal marijuana use ever since. That hypothesis was not confirmed because the data indicated that attitudes and patterns of recreational marijuana use had not increased during that time, but had remained constant.

In 2002, Trevino and Richard conducted a study to determine whether or not previous experience with and history of recreational drug use affected attitudes and beliefs about the legalization of drugs in American society. They hypothesized that higher rates of previous exposure to recreational drug use would correspond to more liberal attitudes that supported the legalization of drug use in society. The hypothesis was confirmed and the study determined that subjects also differed in their interpretation of underlying concepts and distinctions such as in connection with what substances are properly regarded as drugs and what types of behavior rightfully constitute drug use.

Methodology

The Khatapoush and Hallfors study (2004) utilized a series of telephone surveys… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"People Who Use Medical Marijuana Favor Legalization."  Essaytown.com.  October 16, 2012.  Accessed October 25, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/people-use-medical-marijuana-favor/2857692.