Essay on Medicinal Marijuana

2192 Words 9 Pages
Medicinal Marijuana

Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General, once spoke about the legalization of marijuana for medical use in a press conference. "It's criminal to keep this medicine from patients," she said (Silverman, 1995, pg. 2). She received criticism not only from many citizens of the United States, but also strong criticism from the President who appointed her. The legalization of marijuana for medical use has always been a sharply debated subject, and many of the debaters are uneducated about the effects of using this illegal drug for therapeutic use. Many studies have been done and the results are clear. As a medical drug, marijuana should be available to patients who do not adequately respond to currently available
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"It is very disturbing to realize that Giovanni Polli (1812-1880), was more compassionate 130 years ago than many government authorities today" (Kassirer, 1997, pg. 1185). The debates began and in 1975, the FDA established the Compassionate Use program for medical marijuana (Silverman, 1995). Marijuana is a DEA Schedule I in all forms (hash, hash oil, and cannabis) except for synthetic THC, which is schedule III. Schedule I is federally defined as drugs which have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment, and have a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision. This federal law was disputed in 1988 by Judge Francis Young, an administrative law judge for the DEA, who recommended that marijuana be reclassified as schedule II on the grounds that if a respectable minority of doctors indorse it, then it has a "currently accepted medical use" (Erowid website, 2000). In 1990, the states of California and Arizona came to their senses and allowed marijuana to be legalized just for medical purposes (Silverman, 1995). A few years later, Missouri and Michigan also legalized medicinal marijuana. As of today, no additional states have decided to follow their lead.

Since many uneducated authorities did not want to legalize marijuana, they spent money on developing Dronabial or Marinol, a synthetic version of
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