Medical marijuana is surrounded by controversy. Many experts believe that cannabis is a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals for relieving symptoms related to many illnesses. These experts have scientific studies, medical organizations, and government reports to back up their point of view. Others on the other hand, argue that medical cannabis is too dangerous, that it could lead to addiction or abuse of harder drugs, it doesn’t have FDA-approval or that legalization is just a front for recreational drug use. The politics associated with the so-called war on drugs in the country have forced the issue in the hands of the governments, rather than with patients and doctors, where the decision should ultimately lie.
Why Cannabis Should Be Legalized
1. The Benefits Far Outweigh the Risks
Peer-reviewed, evidence-based studies have proven that cannabis can be beneficial to patients suffering from illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and many other serious, debilitating, or terminal conditions. The properties in marijuana can greatly relieve chronic pain associated with these illnesses. Additionally, many patients have tried the typically prescribed drugs during their suffering and have found little to no positive results. For some, medical marijuana is the only substance that can lift their suffering so they can lead manageable, happier, and more fulfilling lives.
2. It’s Safer than Pharmaceuticals
Cannabis is natural, while pharmaceuticals are filled with a wide variety of chemicals that most people cannot even pronounce let alone fully understand. These chemicals can lead to myriad side effects for the patients who use them. Pain killers can be severely addictive and ruin patients’ lives, while other mainstream drugs can cause gastrointestinal issues, allergic reactions, blindness, internal bleeding, organ failure, and even death from complications or overdose. Many patients simply cannot handle the daily and long-term side effects of prescription drugs. With medical cannabis, patients can reap the benefits of managing their symptoms without having to worry about addiction, overdose or, serious side effects that aren’t worth the risk of pharmaceutical drugs.
2. Legalization Means Government Control
If the first two reasons why medical cannabis should be legalized don’t sway government officials or other people who are strictly against it, then understanding how legalization can help societies as a whole might be a more effective argument. If medical marijuana were legalized, governments would be able to ensure that patients are receiving safe, high-quality cannabis and would not have to risk the potential dangers of finding it on the street. Additionally, they could properly control doses, track its use on a large scale, and place taxes on its sale in order to increase government profits. Legalization would also ease the restrictions on research so that more scientific studies on the subject would be allowed to be conducted, leading to better understanding of its long-term health benefits and limitations as a medical prescription.
The Choice Should be Yours
Marijuana has medicinal properties that greatly relieve many patients’ pain and suffering related to serious and terminal illnesses. For some, medical cannabis is the only drug that works. It’s safe and natural, and doesn’t create dependence or nasty side effects. From a governmental standpoint, legalization would create strict control over the sale, tax, and doses of medical marijuana, which benefits everyone. Regardless, the choice of using or prescribing medical cannabis should rest with the medical community and its patients, not the governments.