In Virginia, there is controversial debate over the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The advantages for some people using marijuana for medical reasons are, it eases their pain, and relaxes them so they can enjoy
their lives. For some terminally ill patients the marijuana also makes them happier and more enjoyable to be around. The disadvantage is that after smoking it for an extended period the majority of the patients could develop lung cancer, but is not so bad considering that the patients are already terminally ill. My standpoint on this subject is that it is a good idea for marijuana to be used as a medical drug for the treatment in terminal illnesses.
Of all the reformations that should be made, the legalization of marijuana is perhaps the most necessary. One of the most important reasons for legalizing marijuana is the benefit to the medical community (National Academy Press). It has been proven that marijuana can greatly reduce some of the effects of cancer. In addition, marijuana has prolonged the lives of people who were diagnosed as terminally ill. Many people also rely on the drug to ease their pain and suffering (National Academy Press). Another important benefit of marijuana is its usefulness in reducing nausea in chemotherapy patients. Marijuana helps patients more than any other prescribed drug currently available. Nearly half of the doctors who were asked said they have suggested using marijuana, or would prescribe it if it were legal. As more and more research comes in about marijuana, people are starting to realize that it can help patients with other medical problems (National Academy Press).
Medical marijuana has been used for years. It has been found as far back as 1,600 years ago. Marijuana was used for many different reasons. For patients in chemotherapy marijuana has been used to give them their appetites back and reduce the nausea (Cannabis). People with severe headaches may also be prescribed marijuana. Marijuana can be used on patients with sleeping or eating disorders too. Yet, in most states it is illegal to even prescribe marijuana. Yet in 1988 our own DEA’s administrative Judge Frances Young said, “Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man”. He also said “marijuana in its natural form is far safer than many foods we commonly consume” (National Academy Press). Tobacco has no medical uses at all. Some say tobacco relieves stress and helps reduce the appetite. Other than that, tobacco has no use of any kind at all.
About 50 percent of incoming college, freshmen have admitted to using marijuana. And about 40 percent of them smoke it on a regular basis (National Academy Press). The question is why is marijuana illegal and tobacco legal? Marijuana has been known as a “gateway drug”, meaning it leads to use of other harder drugs (National Academy Press). This is not true. It truly depends on the person whether they are going to do other drugs. People who smoke marijuana do not have a higher chance of getting addicted or even trying cocaine or heroin than non-users. Many negative facts have been told of marijuana, mostly by the tobacco industry, which are false (National Academy Press). Why is the tobacco industry so concerned with marijuana and its negative effects? It is because the tobacco industry is trying to take some of the attention off their product and point the finger at marijuana. Marijuana is healthier, safer, and has more medical use than tobacco does (Internet Mental Health).
Most illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, are mixed with many different chemicals, but not marijuana. Marijuana is grown from the ground. No chemicals are added during or after the growing process, just sunlight and water is needed for the plant to grow. Once the plant reaches its peak, it is taken down and hung up to dry for a long period. After that, it is ready to be enjoyed and smoked by its users. But in tobacco they mix in many unneeded harmful chemicals. One of these chemicals is nicotine, which is highly addictive (Internet Mental Health). This is the chemical that keeps the tobacco smokers coming back for more, and more, which keeps the tobacco companies happy and well paid. You may ask why is this chemical in tobacco. The reason is just so tobacco users cannot quit smoking when they try, but are stuck smoking until they die (Internet Mental Health).
Today millions of young kids, teens, and adults are addicted physically to tobacco and yet it is impossible to become physically addicted to marijuana. Physical addiction is where the body thinks it needs the nicotine to survive, so when you just stop the body is not used to not having it in your system and withdrawal symptoms may occur. When one tries to stop the use of tobacco products withdrawal symptoms may occur including rapid pulse, increased hand tremor, insomnia, nausea, physical agitations, anxiety, illusions, and seizures (Internet Mental Health). These symptoms may occur for months after stopping the use of tobacco. Also, tobacco leaves radioactive materials in your lungs, which over time is what causes cancer (Cannabis). No radioactive materials are present in marijuana smoke. The tar in marijuana smoke only contains 33% less tar as tobacco (Cannabis). Also, when marijuana is smoked, it breaks down other tars in your lungs, including other marijuana and tobacco tars. Tobacco makes the lungs air passages smaller and can cause them to constrict, unlike marijuana. Continuous tobacco use causes the air passageways to eventually close up making it impossible to breath. And in the end tobacco kill you. Another negative effect of nicotine is that it causes negative effects on the heart and circulatory systems. What the nicotine does is causes the veins and arteries in your body to constrict (Cannabis). This may lead to a stroke or heart attack. Tobacco use causes the body many problems.
There has never been an overdose of marijuana. To overdose on marijuana you would have to smoke over a pound in an hour of high quality marijuana. That is physically impossible. This is true because the active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). “THC is one of the few chemicals for which there is no known toxic amount” (Cannabis), meaning content of THC in marijuana is not high enough to cause death. Tobacco, on the other hand, can kill a person by an overdose. People have managed to overdose by using dermal patches and smoking tobacco at the same time (Cannabis). Nicotine is a dangerous drug and should not be used at all.
Many people think that marijuana makes you less intelligent. The largest study of cannabis to date showed that they are wrong. It was proven that heavy long-term users scored slightly higher on IQ tests, had a lower illness rate, lower chance of developing cancer, and an increased life span compared to non-users (Why Marijuana over Tobacco?”).
So smoking some marijuana before a test actually will increase your ability to think. In fact, it said the cannabis smokers have been known to outlive non-smokers by up to 2 years (Why Marijuana over Tobacco?”).
We have all heard that smoking cannabis causes cancer. Not only is this a lie but also users of marijuana have lower rates of producing lung cancer then non-users. “Not one case of lung cancer has ever been successfully linked to marijuana use” (Why Marijuana over Tobacco?”). In 1975 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia found that cannabis can help fight against benign and malignant cancers. This proves that marijuana does not cause cancer, but it could prevent or even cure it. What about tobacco though? Tobacco does cause lung cancer. Tobacco leaves tar in the lungs that are radioactive. These radioactive materials morph over time into very harmful materials that causes cancer to be produced (Why Marijuana over Tobacco?”).
Cannabis is the number one used illegal drug. If it is not addictive then why do people who try it come back? This is because it is safer than all the other drugs. Cannabis has been used all over the world for many reasons. The Indians smoked it at ceremonies to relax and have a good time. Where legal, doctors prescribe it to their patients for a number of different reasons. Some famous artists and musicians use marijuana on a regular basis to enhance their creativity. Others just use it because they like to relax and have fun (Virginia Laws on Cannabis).
Nothing is wrong with smoking marijuana for any reason at all, but using tobacco is just suicide. What you have been told in the past may contradict the facts about marijuana. Smoking tobacco makes no sense and needs to be stopped. So, do not just stand there in the tobacco smoke filled room and get out and smoke some marijuana.