Marijuana: the Good Part

1506 WordsApr 28, 20027 Pages
Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. No one has ever died from an overdose, and it has a wide variety of therapeutic applications: Relief from nausea and increase of appetite; Reduction of eye pressure; Reduction of muscle spasms; Relief from mild to moderate chronic pain. Marijuana is frequently beneficial in the treatment of the following conditions: AIDS. Marijuana can reduce the nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite caused by the ailment itself and by treatment with AZT and other drugs. Glaucoma. Marijuana can reduce eye pressure, thereby alleviating the pain and slowing -- and sometimes stopping -- the progress of the condition. (Glaucoma is the leading…show more content…
However, Congress still has the power to reschedule marijuana via legislation, regardless of the DEA's wishes. In 1975, Robert Randall, who suffers from glaucoma, was arrested for cultivating his own marijuana. He won his case by using the "medical necessity defense," forcing the government to find a way to provide him with his medicine. As a result, the Investigational New Drug (IND) compassionate access program was established, enabling some patients to receive marijuana from the government. The program was grossly inadequate at helping the potentially millions of people who need medical marijuana: Most patients would never consider the idea that an illegal drug might be their best medicine. Most patients fortunate enough to discover marijuana's medicinal value did not discover the IND program. Most of those who did learn of the program could not find doctors willing to take on the arduous task of enrolling in and working through the IND program. In 1992, in response to a flood of new applications from AIDS patients, members of the Bush administration closed the program to all new applicants. On December 1, 1999, the Clinton administration implemented its medical marijuana policy restating that the IND program would not be reopened (as well as making medical marijuana research more difficult than ever). The IND program remains in operation only for the eight surviving previously approved patients. There is tremendous
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