Table of Contents
Most of the scholars have devoted their ink on explaining the negative and positive effect of medical marijuana on equal measure. The negativity around medical marijuana, unfortunately, seems to be taking the day. It is a negativity that has led to several laws and regulation revolving around medical marijuana to be framed for quite some time. Most governments around the world are opposed to the planting, owning or the use of medical marijuana. In most of the cases, it has been associated with addiction and deviant antisocial behavior among those who use it. Scholars and social behaviorist have come up with a gateway hypothesis whereby they argue that the decriminalization of marijuana may end up introducing the users to gate of hard drugs such as heroine (Filbey, Dunlop & Myers, 2013). More importantly, marijuana has been more of a symbol of deviant behavior than its real effect. It is an aspect that has been perpetuated by the pop musicians who metaphorically associate their greatness with marijuana therefore giving it the bad publicity. An observation that has been made notwithstanding the general negative publicity among medical professionals is that marijuana has a potent medicinal effect that can be used to restore health, dignity and quality of life especially to patients with terminal illness. On a much bigger and broader sense, marijuana has far more benefits than the negativity tag that it’s associated with such as social deviancy and mental illness. The negative publicity that is impacting on buying or using medical marijuana should be given an objective evaluation that if done it will be authorized in all states. It is from this perspective that this paper holds a position that marijuana is not all bad since can be used for medical purposes. With the right supervision it can help ease pain for people with debilitating diseases, people who are recovering from organ transplants, and people who deal with mental illnesses.
Marijuana has effectively been used to obtund pain among the terminally ill patients. Several oncology nurses and physicians have conducted research on the effectiveness of marijuana in managing severe pain which are not manageable with regular strong analgesic drugs such as dronabinol and the finding has been in favor of medical marijuana. In a research article done by Debondt (2016), it was found that medical marijuana is more potent pain suppressant than the drugs such as dronabinol that is usually regularly used in hospital with least effectiveness. In the article, Debondt (2016 posits that marijuana has 66 chemical compounds with different mode of suppressing pain compared with only one that was found in most of the pharmaceutical drugs used in managing pain. More so, most of the conventional medicine used in hospital to alleviate pain are mostly administered as intravenous injection while the medical marijuana can be taken in many forms depending with the condition of the patient. It can be mixed in food, used as vaporizer or as tincture (Debondt, 2016). This makes it to be convenient to the patients because some who cannot take anything orally then they take it as vaporizer, if the blood vessels cannot be established then it can be mixed with food and taken orally. More significantly is that whichever the means of taking it, the absorption into the system and its potency is preserved at optimal. It can therefore be seen that marijuana, from this prism, it is not that all bad because of its capacity to obtund pain.
Apart from pain suppression, medical marijuana has capacity to alleviate other conditions including but not limited to cachexia, strong nauseous and glaucoma. More significantly, its posology is not dependent on the age of the patient. This wide spectrum characteristics of marijuana makes it superior in containing such clinical manifestation that may present all at once. In a research article that was done by Kazura (2013) it indicated that condition such as HIV & AIDs can cause several manifestations that may be either because of disease process or reaction from the strong antiretroviral drugs that individual living with the condition may be using. Such manifestation may include nausea, glaucoma, and depression among others. In such a situation, the patient will have to take specific drugs to suppress the side effect or the clinical manifestations of the disease. For case of glaucoma, they will take drug that ease the eyeball pressure. More so, Nussbaum Thurston, Walker & Sabel (2015) have shown that marijuana has antidepressants effect on study done in Colorado where marijuana has been decriminalized and authorized to be used, for nausea they will take antiemetic and other drugs to limit the effect of cachexia (Kazura, 2013). In a situation, the patient will be termed to a case of polypharmacy- taking many drugs for different reasons. It is a case that it is associated with low adherence and high mortality rate. The adherence to antiretroviral or antineoplastic drugs is key but it is usually interfered with in case of polypharmacy. Medical marijuana has wide spectrum effect in the body that offer a solution to substitute the need of polypharmacy. To that effect, if medical marijuana is used, then the need of taking different drug to suppress glaucoma, nausea, pain and other side effects will be reduced be a single substitute with super effective marijuana (Kazura, 2013). It is from this angle that there is need to view marijuana as an important and significant drug rather than associating it with social deviancy in the society.
More so, medical marijuana can easily be made available to the patients with different need of its medicinal value. The medical value of marijuana supersede its cost by far thus making it better according to many cost-benefit analysis that have done. More importantly, it is that most of the pharmaceutical companies that make drugs for different use usually add some compounds of cannabinoid (an extract from marijuana) then the balloon the cost while limiting the development of the generic drugs just for their ill profits. Most of the research that have been done to give negative publicity of medical marijuana have been funded by pharmaceutical companies or their proxies in order to make their stock moving. It is a fear of a stronger substitute that make then promote research with conflict of interest.
It is therefore prudent that the issue of medical marijuana be reviewed with objectivity and either authorize or decriminalize its use. It should be allowed especially for the medical reasons and restore the dignity of life to those under severe pain associated with cancers. Allowing the use of medical marijuana so far been allowed in Colorado and Washington. The two states have decriminalize its recreational use. Other countries such as Brazil, Netherland and Portugal have decriminalize it as more knowledge is known through research. It is therefore agreeable that marijuana is not all bad going by the publicity that it has been given, it has broad spectrum use in medical field. Rightful and correct use can help ease pain in people with oncological diseases and people recovering from invasive surgeries and people with mental illness.
- Debondt, E. (2016). Historical and Regulatory Issues of Medical Marijuana. Oncology Nursing Forum, 33(2), 440-449
- Kazura, A. (2013). Medical marijuana laws and teens. Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 29(4), 8-19.
- Nussbaum, A. M., Thurston, C., McGarry, L., Walker, B., & Sabel, A. L. (2015). Use and diversion of medical marijuana among adults admitted to inpatient psychiatry. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 41(2), 166.
- Filbey, F. M., Dunlop, J., & Myers, U. S. (2013). Neural effects of positive and negative incentives during marijuana withdrawal. Plos One, 8(5), e61470. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061470