The Debate Concerning Medical Marijuana

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In Nov. 1996 the people of the State of California approved proposition 215, the initiative that could make marijuana legally available as a medicine in the U.S. for the first time in 60 years. Under this initiative the government will not prosecute patients or their caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana for medical treatment. The medical recommendation may be either written or oral and doctors cannot be penalized by the state of Arizona at the same time. However at this time it is still illegal to posses, administer, sell or use marijuana in any of the other 48 states across the U.S. Why haven’t the rest of the country followed the lead of these two states?

What this paper attempts to do is provide an argument that it is immoral to deny seriously ill patients the right to use marijuana for medical purposes, and that the current misconceptions about marijuana have been grossly overstated. Basically I’m going to prove the marijuana has been given a bum rap.

Currently there is question as to whither there is a valid use for marijuana for medicinal use. This question has been the spark for much controversy. “There is no evidence to prove marijuana’s use in chemotherapy. There are numerous alternative drugs that obviate the need to even pursue research on the subject.” Our course scientific research would give use a different opinion than the one above that current President Bill Clinton has stated above. Marijuana’s therapeutic uses are well documented in the modern scientific literature. Using either smoked marijuana or oral preparations of delta-9-THC (marijuana’s main active ingredient), researchers have conducted controlled studies. These studies demonstrate marijuana’s usefulness in “reducing nausea and vomiting, ” “stimulating appetite, promoting weight gain, and diminishing intraocular pressure from glaucoma. ” There is also evidence that smoked marijuana and/or THC

“reduce muscle spasticity form spinal chord injuries and multiple sclerosis, and diminish tremors in multiple sclerosis patients. ” Other therapeutic uses for marijuana have not been widely studied. However, patients and physicians have reported that smoked marijuana have not been widely studied. However patients and physicians have reported that smoked marijuana “provides relief from migraine headaches, depression, seizures, insomnia, convulsion, and chronic pai...

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...tion Act of 1994, Farmington, MA (20 October 1994 York, Sarah., “The Battle for Medical Marijuana” The Nation, v246 n1 p14 (Jan 6, 1997) Ibid.,Ibid.,

Grinspoon, L. and Bakalar, J.B., Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine, Revised and Expanded Edition, New Haven: Yale University Press (1997)

Morganthau, Tom, “The War over Weed”, Newsweek v129 n5 p20 (Feb. 3 1997)

Ibid., p20

Mcwiliams Peter, “The General’s Loophole”, Playboy v46 n12 p61 (Dec. 1999)

Benson, John., “From Marijuana To Medicine”, Issues in Science and Technology, v15 i3 p27 (Spring 1999)

Grinspoon, Lester., “Prescribing the Forbidden Medicine”, Playboy, v45 n8 p42 (August 1998)

Armentano, Paul., Could The FDA Approve Medical Marijuana?” High Times, n226 p40 (August 1998)

Randall, R.C., Marijuana, Medicine and the Law, Washington, DC: Galen Press p27 (1986)

Drug Reform Coordination Rist, Curtist., “Weed the People” People Weekly, v46 n17 p75 (Oct. 21 1996)

Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act, Section 505 Randall, R.C., Cancer Treatment and Marijuana, Washington, DC: Galen Press (1990)

Gingrich, N., “Legal Status of Marijuana,” Journal of the American Medical Association p247 (1982)

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