|Marijuana Offers Medicinal Benefits |
Until 1937, it was legal to use marijuana. It is one of the safest substances known to ameliorate numerous medical conditions, for both medicinal and recreational purposes in the U.S. Since then, legal prohibitions against marijuana have cost taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and billions of dollars in lost revenues that could have been realized had marijuana simply been taxed in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco.
Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated that marijuana (Cannibissativa L.) possesses the ability to relieve pain, nausea, pressure within the eyes and reduce muscle spasms—all medicinal benefits that can benefit millions of people suffering from a variety of diseased conditions.
For example, most AIDS sufferers experience intense nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite as symptoms caused by the disease itself and by many of the drugs used to treat it. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy frequently experience nausea, vomit and lose their appetites. Patients with Hepatitis C also frequently experience nausea and vomiting. Legalizing marijuana for medicinal use could alleviate symptoms for all these groups.
Those who suffer from glaucoma—which damages vision by increased intra-ocular pressure and is the leading cause of blindness in the United States—would benefit if medical marijuana were available because marijuana relieves eye pressure that causes the disease to progress.
Since marijuana has been proven to reduce muscle pain, spasms, muscle tremors and unsteady gait, medical marijuana would help patients with multiple sclerosis, which is the leading neurological disabler of young and middle-aged adults in the United States.
Marijuana has also been shown to be useful in preventing epileptic seizures and in reducing the chronic pain that accompanies many medical conditions such as arthritis, migraine headaches and menstrual cramps. Marijuana has also been helpful in reducing addictions to alcohol and opiates and reducing depression.
Each of these medical uses for marijuana has been deemed legitimate by at least one U.S. court, legislature, or government agency. Yet, medical marijuana remains illegal under federal U.S. law. Even in those states where possession of small amounts of marijuana has been deemed legal, it remains illegal for physicians to prescribe marijuana to relieve the suffering of their patients. Those suffering from medical conditions that marijuana could improve are left to suffer or to obtain the herb illegally, thereby risking the serious consequences to life and health posed by arrests, fines, jail time and having a criminal record.