Cannabis Sativa: Why Hasnt It Been Legalized?

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What if we were able to legalize a drug that works more efficiently on some diseases than any legal drug on the market today? This drug can help to aid such notorious diseases as AIDS and glaucoma. The name of this drug is cannabis sativa, or its more well-known name, marijuana. Cannabis sativa should be legalized for its medicinal uses. This paper will state the different types of diseases that marijuana may be used for, the current steps towards the legalization of this drug for medicinal purposes, the reasons for the use of this drug not to be exploited, the positive and alleviating effects of its use, and the non-addictive attributes of the drug itself. There are many reasons to show why the illegal drug, marijuana, should be legalized solely for its medicinal uses and benefits. Marijuana can be used for such things as glaucoma, controlling seizures, arthritis, the side effects of cancer chemotherapy, such as vomiting and nausea, asthma, anxiety, convulsions, AIDS and depression (Cohen, 1985). "In glaucoma, it reduces the pressure in the eye, for instance, and it also causes a slight increase in appetite in people suffering from AIDS wasting or those undergoing chemotherapy" (Medical Experts, 1997). Marijuana has been widely touted as a treatment for the drastic weight loss associated with AIDS (Levine, 1997). Cannabis sativa reduces the vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy, and alleviates pretreatment anxiety. It reduces the muscle pain and spasticity caused by the disease, but it may also help some patients with bladder control and the relieving of tremors (Facts & Stats, 2001). There are a number of people who have severe mental illnesses. When they feel like they are becoming mentally ill, they start self-medicating with cannabis to help them to relieve the symptoms of the illness they are having (Jamaica, 1997). In the study on rats, a research team from Complutense University and Autonoma University in Madrid found that marijuana's active ingredient, called THC, killed tumor cells in advanced cases of glioma, a quick-killing cancer for which there is currently no effective treatment. The team reports that the treatment works by stimulating the cancer cells to commit suicide in a natural process called apoptosis. The effect occurs in cancer cells but not in normal ones and, they say, "could provide the basis for a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of malignant gliomas". (Rea, 2000) But anytime there is an upside, there is always a downside.

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