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Neil Deatherage


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Should Cannabis be legalized as a medicine?

The rich biodiversity of plants in nature has provided humans many medicines to prevent and cure sickness and disease. The use of cannabis as a medicine continues to gain acceptance within the scientific and medical community, with Connecticut early this month joining 16 other states to legalize it for medical use. Case studies continue to support the value of cannabis as a medicine to ameliorate various ailments ranging from glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, Parkinson's, chronic pain, and nausea associated with cancer.

Despite scientific evidence supporting medicinal qualities from cannabis, much controversy surrounds outright legalization for medicinal use. While many states currently allow cannabis as an alternative to traditional medicines, the FDA continues to classify cannabis as a schedule I drug subjecting patients to possible fines and/or imprisonment under federal law.

Can cannabis find a place in today's society as an alternative medicine, or are possible unforeseen consequences too great to allow this plant for medicinal use?


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    May 19 2012: What kind of message of does the use of cannabis- even as a medicine- send to our children? Perhaps patients that have children- some that use cannabis legally, some that use illegally?
    • May 20 2012: Neil,

      You make a valid point. The legalization of marijuana, even if just for medicinal uses, will make parents more likely to be open about their marijuana use, which would greatly influence the children's perception of the drug. While I believe that marijuana does have medicinal benefits, I think that the increased accessibility with its legalization for medicinal purposes could result in increased problems with recreational use. While many argue that it is completely hypocritical for alcohol to be legal and marijuana to be illegal, I think that there are some striking differences in the circumstances in which people find it acceptable to smoke or drink. From personal experience, I do not know anyone who, especially when sober, is supportive of people driving while intoxicated from alcohol consumption while I know a wide range of people who find it perfectly acceptable to drive while high (here are the obvious extremes in the spectrum with people who struggle with alcohol addiction who drink in many inappropriate situations). No matter what people say about marijuana, it is still a drug that influences your perception, reflux time and judgment. Thus, someone under the influence of marijuana who is driving a car is putting people in danger and it should not be acceptable. Education on these issues will becoming increasingly important if kids see or know of their parents cannabis use, as they will find it more attractive and acceptable.

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