Medical Marijuana: Why shouldn't it be legalized?

Marijuana is often regarded as a harmful 'drug' that can endanger lives and lead to harder drugs and addiction, contributing to a large problem within today's society. However, the question shouldn’t be 'why should marijuana be legalized?' Instead, it should be, 'why shouldn't marijuana be legalized?' Medical marijuana has proven to help numerous medical conditions, lower rates of opioid addiction and alcoholism, has a higher safety margin than most pharmaceutical drugs, and can contribute to the betterment of our economy. 

Medical Marijuana, also known as 'cannabis,' is proven to help numerous medical conditions through cannabis oil, smoking, or edibles. The medical, non-psychoactive component in marijuana called CBD, versus the psychoactive component THC, has been used to help nausea, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression, low appetite, sleep problems, autism, and is most popularly known for helping stop seizures due to disorders like epilepsy. In 2017, an 11-year-old boy in the UK had suffered from 100 seizures a day due to epilepsy. He began treatment with cannabis oil in the US and his mother had later reported that he had not had a single seizure for 300 days. She had also stated that the cannabis oil had improved his autism by providing better eye contact and engagement in books and toys. CBD also shows benefits in immune functions, emotional and mood regulation, vascular health, digestive function, and neuroplasticity. In recent decades, medical marijuana has also been prescribed for patients with HIV/AIDS to help manage the many gut-wrenching symptoms that come with it. 

In 2010, the public showed support for medical marijuana. 73 percent of Americans said they were in favor of allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes, whilst being prescribed by a doctor. This proved how a large portion of citizens would like to allow medical marijuana for the ill. You may be thinking that legalizing marijuana medically would increase the usage by those who were not given a prescription by a doctor, but this theory has been proved wrong by a study that was done which showed that 8 out of 10 states which allowed medical marijuana had seen a decrease in marijuana consumption among the population. Legalizing marijuana would not only benefit the health of US citizens, but it would also create an opportunity to boost our economic status through the process of taxation and provide an influx of employment rates. Taxing medical marijuana would essentially be the equivalent of the government taxing cigarettes today. In Colorado, the Denver Post stated, "researchers had found that a taxed and regulated cannabis industry contributed more than 58 million dollars to the local economy." Legalizing Marijuana medically on the federal level, could ultimately result in an additional $105.6 billion dollars within the next decade. This level of money will also cause raises in payroll withholdings, business tax revenue, and a 15% sales tax. A portion of the government's money is used to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate many people who have possession of marijuana, either medically or recreationally.  The money made by enforcing taxes on marijuana, and further eliminating the costs of law enforcement, would bring a large sum of money in revenue each year. This process would allow the nation to profit in a multitude of ways, allow the citizens to benefit medically, and free those who were incarcerated. 

In a recent study, researchers have found that many medical marijuana consumers use this to help overcome both addiction and negative effects from other substances. The results found from this study have shown that alcohol and opioid pain killers have been the two largest and most common sources of being abused. These substances are being replaced by medical cannabis to help treat addiction. Medical Marijuana also has a much higher safety margin than both alcohol and opioids. You may be asking, 'can't this be addictive too?' Well, you see, CBD does not have any addictive chemicals inside it that would cause a risk for addiction in patients, nor have there been any recorded deaths due to marijuana. There is an estimated 46 people or more that will die of overdose from painkillers every day, and 88,000 people that die each year due to alcohol. 

Many people may argue that marijuana should not be legalized either recreationally or medically because they believe it is a 'gateway drug,' when, in fact, this myth has been debunked by numerous researchers. Another concern people have is that marijuana could pose a risk of lung cancer if used through smoking. A study done by UCLA stated "what we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect." Several studies have showed that cannabis has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor qualities that tobacco does not have.

When using medical cannabis, the recommended dose is to take 1-6MG of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight based on your level of pain or discomfort. It is always good to start small and increase as needed. Starting with 25MG 1-2 times a day and increasing the amount to your comfort level is the best option, as everyone's body chemistry, weight, CBD concentration, and severity of pain varies.

There are two major strains of the marijuana plant: Sativa and Indica medicinal strains. Medicinal Indica has a higher concentration of CBD (non-psychoactive) and a lower THC (psychoactive) concentration. This allows the person to have increased mental relaxation, muscle relaxation, decreased nausea, decreases acute pain, increases appetite, increases dopamine, and helps sleep. Medicinal Sativa has lower CBD and higher THC concentrations. It is a good source of anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, helps treat chronic pain, increases focus and creativity, increases serotonin, and is better for use in the day.

In Conclusion medicinal marijuana should be strongly considered as it is a much more effective and safer form of treatment and would ultimately be useful in the betterment of our economy.

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About the writer.

Niko Gonzalez; junior in high school; Dallas, Texas; how I started to get involved with medical cannabis (CBD): started using it to combat depression & prevent abuse of pharmaceutical drugs after top surgery.

Niko is a big fan of books, politics, traveling, and a continuous supporter of / help educating others on topics like the LGBT community, medical cannabis, immigrants etc.

connect with Niko at: @nikogonzz

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