Thursday, May 17, 2012
Benefits of Medical Marijuana – Are they being overlooked?
Why is it that, on the national level, marijuana is becoming as highly regarded as an alternative painkiller with no associated side effects? More importantly, why is it still viewed by government officials as an illegal substance and a schedule one narcotic, over 40 years later? The federal government still claims, in defiance of the compiling scientific evidence showcasing the benefits of medical marijuana, that marijuana has ’no accepted medical use’. With painkillers ultimately leading to more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, it is important to distinguish which ‘drugs’ is really more dangerous than the other.
Around 40 years later the nation is now progressing towards national acclaim; fifteen states and the District of Columbia, acting independently of one another, recognize the medical benefits of marijuana and all have laws regulating the herb as medication. However, until 2009 the Justice department allowed federal prosecutors to terminate any American citizen using the plant for medicinal purposes, acting against those laws set by the state. Even now in these states there are DEA raids happening to dispensaries and production industries alike – without any consideration of state laws. Of course, even if they are breaking the state law, the department states that since they are of federal jurisdiction the organization acts independently of the state. Ironically enough, the agency takes orders directly from the Department headquarters – just outside of Washington, D.C.
Though the benefits of medical marijuana are ignored by the federal government, many scientists seemingly agree that the benefits of medical marijuana heavily outweigh the risk when it comes to aiding patients. While anti-marijuana legislators typically state that smoke is technically harmful to your lungs, research has shown that marijuana may actually be beneficial to lung health. In addition, smoking marijuana is only one method of intake. Ingesting it through a wide, often healthy variety of foods as well as vaporizing the substance will provide the same effect as smoking without the health risks associated with smoking, while also omitting any chemical ingestion.
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