The people of this country, the world we live in today is being plagued with diseases inside this nation, and little is being done to help these individuals on a broader spectrum. The people need to come together as a nation and put into law what needs to be done for those that are medically ill. According to the infographic from Legal Issues, these states; there are four different current levels of legalization for medical marijuana, those four being operational, not yet operational, Cannabidiol (CBD)-specific, and non-functional (“Marijuana Laws”).
Stated by Steve Bloom, CBD-specific states are the ones that have so far only legalized the usage of cannabis oil extracts, as long as the percentage of CBD outweighs the percentage of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the medication they are receiving (“CBD Oil Now Legal in 15 States”). These states do not speak for their whole country of course, there are still some states that don’t have any medical marijuana laws in place at all.
As well as the ones that do have the current laws in place people are still not being able to get help because the country is looking down upon these patients as potential criminals. Americans should vote to make medical marijuana legal because it can help patients with illnesses as well as medical conditions, it has fewer side effects than the leading pharmaceuticals, as well as has lower possibility of addiction than the leading pharmaceutical pain medications.
In this day and age, there are many people in this country that deal with illnesses and medical conditions on a daily basis. These illnesses and medical conditions are not able to just be resolved by taking a few week’s worth of antibiotics. These people are going to spend the rest of their lives with these illnesses until cures are found for them, the harsh reality of it, which is that these cures will more than likely not be found during this generation’s lifetime, maybe the next generation will have more luck to find the cures.
These illnesses and medical conditions are the most common ones that people hear of others getting, or they themselves have had to deal with at one point or another in their lifetime. According to Jen Christensen medical marijuana could have a positive impact on treatment for HIV and AIDs, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis (“10 Diseases Where Medical Marijuana Could Have an Impact. “).
However, there are many more, but these are the worst, as well as, the most common that people have to live through life suffering from. Epilepsy, for example, effects a large number of people, granted that it doesn’t affect the majority of the population, there are still a lot of people and children dealing with this illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US the current active estimated cases of Epilepsy account for 1% for adults 18 years old or older, and 0. 6% for children from birth to the age of 17.
When compared with the population of the US in 2013, when they last updated their statistics, there was an estimate of about 2. 9 million suffering from Epilepsy, 460,000 of which was just involving children cases (“Epilepsy Quick Facts”). With the amount of people that are suffering from these illnesses and medical conditions in today’s age, this country needs to come together to find out what the best solution would be for these individuals, without causing them any further hardship in the process.
The next issue is pharmaceutical medication side effects, the medications that doctors are prescribing to their patients are typically more dangerous to the patient than they would realize. The prescribed medications that they receive include a laundry list of side effects. When a patient starts on a new medication they should do research on their medicine and find out what side effects could possibly come with, which these medications could come with a laundry list of side effects, and determine if this new better medication that their doctor has them on, is worth the risk for them to take.
And it should be up to the patient to decide on taking the medications based on what their current medical condition is, adding this list of side effects can be pretty ridiculous For example, a multiple sclerosis patient may be prescribed the medication Gilenya which has a literal laundry list of nearly fifty side effects, according to Drugs. com some of the more common side effects are muscle aches and pains, tightness in the chest, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing (“Gilenya Side Effects in Detail”).
Patients shouldn’t have to deal with their doctors prescribing them with medications that are capable of creating more medical problems, when these patients are already going through serious lifelong medical conditions as it is. Another problem would be pharmaceutical pain medications prescribed to patients with severe chronic pain can be quite addictive if the patient isn’t careful. Pain medications that are typically opiate based, usually called opioids, are being prescribed by physicians for patients with chronic pain.
According to Brian Krans, the most addictive prescribed medications are Adderall, Ritalin, Codeine, Darvocet, OxyContin, Percocet, Valium, and Xanax (“The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs on the Market”). Also, according to Nora Volkow M. D. these opioids that are being prescribed have skyrocketed from 76 million in 1991, to right around 207 million in 2003, in which the US alone is accounted for almost 81% for OxyContin as well as Percocet (“America’s Addiction to Opioids”). Patients shouldn’t have to risk the chance of addiction when they are taking the medications in the proper way.
Even though staying within the proper dosage like the doctor prescribed it is difficult for a person to become addicted to them it still happens every day. This country should look at the overall problem with addiction to pain killers, and realize that with the legalization of medical marijuana a lot of these addictions wouldn’t exist. As well as, it would give patients a wider range of medications, made from medical marijuana, that could be used with lesser possibilities of becoming addicted to them.
With the legalization of medical marijuana, these patients with the listed illnesses would be able to have larger options when it comes to their choices of treatment. Medical marijuana has been seen in some cases to help tremendously compared to the medications, treatments, and surgeries that these patients were already receiving. According to Joseph Sirven and Patricia Shafer, when 213 patients who used the new medication Epidiolex which consists of 99% CBD, patient’s seizures decreased by an average of 54% when taken for twelve weeks (“Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy”).
According to Bloom, recently in Alabama the bill “SB 174”, also known as the “Carly’s Law”, has been passed to allow the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) to study the use of marijuana derived oils to be used to treat seizure disorders (“CBD Oil Now Legal in 15 States”). The CBD extracts from marijuana show to have strong medical uses that if this country was to fully legalize, many illnesses and diseases could become more bearable for the patients suffering from them.
Legalizing medical marijuana would also give patients a better option when it comes to medications because the medications that would compete with the marijuana would have a higher list of side effects. With medical marijuana, so far a drug has been produced to treat Multiple Sclerosis (MS), called Sativex, which is currently only available in European countries. Earlier Gilenya was mentioned as a leading medication for MS with some of its side effects. With the legalization of marijuana, this country would also start using the drug Sativex to treat MS patients.
According to Drugs. om, Sativex has shown to only have one side effect that appeared in every 1 in 10 patients, which was feeling dizzy or tired. When adding in the full list of Sativex’s side effects, common and uncommon included, Sativex only has sixteen total side effects compared to the current leading US pharmaceutical medication Gilenya which has a list of nearly fifty (“Sativex Oromucosal Spray”). With that shown it should be clear to see that with the legalization of medical marijuana, pharmacies would have to readdress their current medications to compete with healthier as well as safer medications.
Lastly, with the legalization of medical marijuana, there will be less people taking the current highly addictive pain medications. Although these pain medications wouldn’t necessarily just vanish, they should however decrease in how many people are chasing them to ease pain, when they now would have a less addictive alternative. According to Robert Bergman, there are up to 86 naturally occurring chemical structures found in marijuana that are called cannabinoids.
Of these 86 cannabinoids, the main ones are CBD, THC, and cannabinol (CBN) (“What Are the Active Ingredients in Medical Marijuana”). According to ProjectCBD. org the drugs that will be produced will be with a majority percentage of CBD compared to THC. When it comes down to how addictive marijuana is, there shouldn’t be any smoke covering the fact that marijuana does have an addictive ingredient. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse the addictive chemical ingredient in marijuana is THC, where in the 1990s the average level of THC was roughly 3. %, now days its roughly 9. 6% (“Is Marijuana Addictive? “).
With medical marijuana, focusing on being CBD heavy, the risk of addiction would be very low, if existent at all. With medical marijuana being low in THC and high in CBD, the patient won’t get “high” off of the medical marijuana, but they will still be able to gain all the benefits that the CBD has to offer. Legalizing medical marijuana, could be a potential life saver when it comes down to the bottom line.
Medical marijuana would be able to help patients with their illnesses and diseases, it could give patients a better option when it comes to their medical treatments considering they would have the option to choose a medication that’s more natural and safe just by having the option to choose whether or not they wanted the current pharmaceuticals with the large side effects list, as well as, choosing a medication that has far fewer risks of addiction and dependency. Medical marijuana is the future of medicine and it should be put into action now instead of waiting for the next generation to realize what good it can bring.