A. I researched the social trend of legalizing medical Marijuana. In the 1800’s, physicians in the United States gave their patients marijuana to treat anything from excessive menstrual bleeding to tetanus. Now days there are other ways to treat and prevent both issues, but what about the horrid disease, cancer. Marijuana went from being a very common “prescription” to illegal. My view on this is that it should not be legal in regards to recreational use, but it should be available for cancer patients and patients who have serious/rare illnesses.
With that being said though, I do believe that there should still be laws and regulations for the patients who are involved with the drug. One social change that occurred that is related to this event was the change of social norms. Drugs are a huge problem in the United States. Society has always frowned upon drugs and the effects they can have on people. However, now days it seems as though it is more of a social norm for people to do drugs.
Morally and culturally illegal drugs are something people taught their children to stay away from, but now days one of the drugs that they were taught to stay away from is now becoming legal (recreationally), already in four states. The statistics of drug users vs. non-drug users would probably shock America. From a sociological perspective, legalizing marijuana would portray the labeling theory, especially in schools and social groups. As stated in our book, “the labeling theory is, the idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do as from how others respond to those actions” (pg. 04).
Say that there is a group of students who have all been raised similarly, meaning with morals and values, and one student decides to smoke marijuana. Since that student violated the “group’s norms”, they probably will change. The student would probably start hanging out with different people and acting differently than before, this would be called secondary deviance. I chose this event because cancer is very prominent in my family. I have seen how much pain terminally ill cancer patients experience and how much weight they lose.
When my Aunt Donna was in her last weeks of life, she was in a lot of pain, and since I was a young girl at the time it has kind of stuck with me. Once I started learning about medical marijuana, I wished she would have been able to have that option. With all that being said, I am not a supporter of recreational marijuana, but when there are people hurting on their death bed, I feel that it should be legal for them. My ancestors and I have the same views on the legalization of recreational marijuana.
We think that it could cause more problems to arise in America, but we believe that terminally ill and cancer patients should have the option to use it. I am researching the stage of Modern Society. This stage of macro-level society revolves around science, which is what my topic relates to. The concept of scientific principles dominating decision making is involved in my research because due to the discoveries in medicine, our government has been able to set laws and regulations on the different drugs that are available for society.
Also, the concept of more people experience healthier and longer lives is related to my research because of the discoveries in medicine. For example, not everyone can take the same medicine for heart disease, but today there is a variety of medications available, which allow (to an extent) patients to try different medications, resulting in a healthier life. According to the time line in the back of our book, in 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn a M. D. degree.
Without this major social milestone occurring, there may have been more women during that time die of treatable illnesses simply because they would rather go to a female doctor than a male. Also, it allowed people to contact another doctor for questions or illnesses. Also according to the time line in the back of our book, in 1847 Funding of American Medical Association signals rise of scientific medicine. This major technological invention introduced the US to scientific advancement and better public health.
Without the creation of the association, the medicine we have to today may not have been as prevalent, resulting in more health related problems and deaths. AMA has significantly impacted the world of medicine. Also, the telephone was invented in 1876, which allowed people to communicate about certain illnesses and call for help if they needed it. These inventions affected the event of Elizabeth Blackwell in a positive way because the AMA was able to provide crucial information about new illnesses, etc. and help her help her patients.
The invention of the telephone did not specifically affect Elizabeth Blackwell becoming an M. D. due to the fact that is was 29 years before, however it did impact other doctors and patients, allowing them to communicate and get help faster. The telephone and AMA inventions really did not contribute to the social change stated above, which was social norms. B. From my two sources, I learned that marijuana usage by adolescents can cause mental disorders, unintentional injuries, and academic problems.
Also, I learned that marijuana is used medically and can decrease the rate of chronic pain significantly. The methods the source “Effects of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Adolescent Marijuana Use” used were data from Youth Risk Behavior Survey and a difference-in-differences design to evaluate the effects of passage of state MMLs on adolescent marijuana use. The hypothesis was that MMLs (Medical Marijuana Laws) have been a cause for the rise of marijuana usage is adolescents.
The source concluded that the MMLs passed have not significantly impacted or affected the usage of marijuana in adolescents within the first few years after enactment. My second source’s, “Medical Marijuana for Pain: What the Evidence Shows”, method was to evaluate the effectiveness of cannabinoids in twenty-eight cases of people with chronic pain, the Visual Analogue Scale was used for the results of changing pain.
Although the research question was not clearly stated, I believe that it was, is the effectiveness of medical marijuana significant enough to make it legal for patients with specific health problems. The conclusion of this source was that the FDA would need to reveal more tangible evidence supporting the effects of medical marijuana. The source also concluded with the belief that it is unfair to keep such important information/evidence from patients who desperately need, if it is out there. C. The structural-functional theory explains why medical marijuana should be legalized.
The reason is because it is beneficial to patients who experience certain health problems. The medical legalization of this drug would provide the medical profession and health care providers a more efficient and effective way to treat specific medical conditions. The assumption, “Culture is a system of behavior that enables people to cooperate and meet their needs” ties in well with the cause to legalize medical marijuana, because according to the statement it is society’s responsibility to aid to those who need help.
Also, the assumption, “Institutions meet the needs of individuals in modern societies (mass societies)” correlates well with the cause. Medical scientists are constantly researching new ways to improve medicine and the symptoms that are followed by the use of certain medications. With the evidence that medical marijuana has provided, it is just a matter of time for all fifty states to have this as an option for certain health conditions. Legalizing medical marijuana also would result in a latent function of a better quality of life with friends and family.
D. The symbolic- interaction theory explains the effects of the issue to legalize medical marijuana. Medical marijuana has been clinically proven as being effective/efficient in providing pain relief for patients who experience cancer, HIV/AIDs, and countless other illnesses. So the question is why not allow all fifty states to be able to provide this type of medical treatment that has been proven to aid in the symptoms of many medical conditions? The labeling theory is a concept that falls under the category of the symbolic-interaction approach.
It is defined as the idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do as from how others respond to those actions. Legalizing marijuana medically could result in those patients being labeled and categorized as participating in deviant acts. Also, the concept medicalization of deviance relates perfectly with this topic. It is the transformation of moral and legal deviance into a medical condition. This concept sets aside the moral and legal aspects of society and views the issue as helping the patient be more comfortable.
The legalization of medical marijuana goes against some cultures social norms, which could result in controversy if it were to be the “law of the land” medically. However, since there is proof that marijuana is effective in treating patients with chronic pain and even nausea due to chemotherapy, I believe that it should be made an option for patients who experience those specific health conditions. E. In the future, people need to pause and think what if I were the person on that medical bed, what if I were in constant pain or better yet what if my father/mother or children were.
With that being said, if they knew marijuana could ease their pain or their child’s and allow them to be more comfortable their decision probably would not be based on their morals. Their goal would be to do all they could to provide for their loved one or their self, or at least that would be mine. If people had to choose between strong pills that knocked their loved ones out for the majority of the day or receiving marijuana intravenously or smoking it and being able to somewhat be social without any pain, most would choose the marijuana.
It has been proven that marijuana subsides the nausea and vomiting in patients who have chemotherapy and it has been proven to increase the appetite of HIV/AIDs patients. Those things do not really impact a healthy person, so to some medical marijuana may still be viewed as immoral, but people need to realize that it could be them. Once people put themselves in other people’s shoes and realize it could happen to them, the negative perspective of this issue will diminish, and the suffering patients will be supplied with another option to help fight their battle.