If marijuana is helping people that have been diagnosed with AIDS, and have chronic pain, why not have medical marijuana become legal? Marijuana should be legal to use medically in every state in the United States. Marijuana will help save people with AIDS who have chronic pain, with few side effects. This drug has been researched for many years, and studies have shown that marijuana needs to be used now for medical purposes, because it is safe taken in the prescribed amount. This medicine has no side effects from smoking it as apposed to cigarettes that cause lung cancer. Marijuana should be used for legal purposes in every state in the United States. Marijuana is a better medicine for healing AIDS because the medicine to treat AIDS has many side effects that irritate the patient. AIDS causes nausea, which is a bothersome after effect. However, if the patient used marijuana, then irritations would not be an issue. The traditional medications used in treatment for AIDS cause a wide range of reactions, including loss of appetite, nausea, headaches, depression, pain, disorientation and fever. The only medicine capable of treating the entire spectrum of the annoying pains, without causing harm to the user is marijuana (Peter Gorman). AIDS is a growing problem in the United States. In 2006, approximately two and a half million people died from AIDS, and in 2007, over three million people died. Also, between 1991 and 1996, the number of AIDS cases among people fifty and older grew twenty- two percent (Cynthia Hubert). Since that time, there have been many reported cases where marijuana has saved peoples lives, in the thirteen states that have legalized medical marijuana in the U.S (NORML). In other cases, people have died from starvation because they stopped using medical marijuana. In the case of a man named Barnes, who was diagnosed with AIDS, he was denied access to medical marijuana because the Bush Administration terminated the program that allowed federal marijuana. Therefore, Barnes did not receive the marijuana, and got very ill from AIDS. As a result, he was unable to buy marijuana from the street to help improve his appetite. On July 18, 1994 Barnes died from starvation. He died weighing only eighty-three pounds (Peter Gorman). AIDS is a growing problem in the United States, and marijuana can be a helpful treatment for this destructive epidemic. Marijuana has been proven to work in a shorter amount of time, with better results than other medications. Miller, from California, used marijuana after heart surgery. He used very little, but saw big results, better than the other medicine prescribed (Peter Gorman). John Benson, a doctor at the Institute of Medicine, stated that marijuana’s biggest risk is inhaling the smoke. Many other scientists say that marijuana has no affect on the lungs (Jerry Leatherman). Therefore, the side effects aren’t bad enough to cause harm to people, when used sparingly. Medical marijuana relieves chronic pain better than other medications that treat post surgery patients, with fewer side affects. Marijuana has very few side effects. When you smoke marijuana, it does not have any affect on the lungs. In a study, it showed that heavy marijuana smokers did not have an elevated risk of developing cancer. People who smoked more marijuana often did not seem to have a higher risk than those who smoked marijuana less or none at all (Ben Wasserman). Lester Grinspoon, of Harvard Medical School, said, “Although cannabis, the plant that produces marijuana, has been smoked widely in western countries for more than four decades, there have been no reported cases of lung cancer or emphysema attributed to marijuana.” After using marijuana, patients lose coordination for several hours. However, following surgery the patient would not be doing anything, which would require coordination. As well as, if a person had AIDS, they would be limited in their activities. (Ben Wasserman). This period of time is less important then the positive outcome of using medical marijuana to relieve pain, or save a life. Marijuana contains more side effects when taken multiple times, not just taking it once. “…Marijuana is only bad when a person is addicted, not when experimentally trying marijuana...” stated by Dr. Donald Tashkin, in a 2005 study. Marijuana has very few side affects that can be managed, when a patient can get the long-term impact that may save his life. Marijuana used for medical purposes will expand research on this drug. At this time, there is little research on the therapeutic effects of medical marijuana on a patient, as well as the effect of cannabinoids. “Medical marijuana research on patients will encourage studies of the therapeutic properties of various cannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids,” the American Public Health Associatiation stated in 2006. Also, research and use of this drug for medical purposes will show Congress the significance, and positive outcome of marijuana for patients. Proven research will urge Congress to move expeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine when shown to be safe and effective (Georges Benjamin). Expanded use of medical marijuana will develop research, which will in time, hopefully convince Congress to pass medical marijuana legally. Medical marijuana has many positive outcome options for the patients that use medical marijuana. Marijuana used for medical purposes will help the millions suffering with the destructive disease of AIDS. This medication will also expand scientific research, which will hopefully, in time, convince Congress to pass a bill for the use of marijuana medically. Finally, marijuana will efficiently affect the patient in a positive matter in only a short amount of time with few side effects. Medical marijuana should be a medication for patients in every state in the United States.
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