SAPP 407- Pharmacology
Fall term junior yr.
Marijuana – Medicine, Menace, or What?
There have been many arguments throughout history about whether marijuana is a source of medicine or whether it’s a gateway drug. This question may never truly be solved but there have been valid arguments for both sides. I would like to delve in on the topic by analyzing what the effects of marijuana are, what the positive and negative aspects of the drug are, and whether or not cannabis should be illegal.
The first topic I would like to discuss is what the effects of marijuana are when it is used. The article Marijuana in Medicine: Past, Present and Future in the Western Journal of ...view middle of the document...
The first, and most obvious, benefit of marijuana is its ability to lessen pain. In the article Marijuana in Medicine: Past, Present and Future written in the Western Journal of Medicine they state that the drug causes pain to “fade away in the distance” (36). This affect of marijuana is connected to its sedative effect to the higher centers of the brain that I discussed above. This affect of the drug can be hugely influential to the field of medicine because there is a huge demand for pain relief in the medical field. In a medical paper written by Todd Mikuriya, M.D., he spoke about how “physicians told of success in treating stomach pain, childbirth psychosis, chronic cough, and gonorrhea with hemp products”. This just adds to the fact that marijuana has shown much success in relieving pain, which is why it could be a huge benefit to the medical field. In addition, in the article Marijuana in Medicine: Past, Present and Future there were several studies that supported the use of marijuana for insomnia, which could also be beneficial for people that are in a lot of pain that causes them to lose sleep.
The two most important positive aspects of marijuana are that the drug is not addictive and cannot directly cause death. The Western Journal of Medicine has done several studies to support these claims. According to the article Marijuana in Medicine: Past, Present and Future in the Western Journal of Medicine, “because marijuana [does] not lead to physical dependence, it [is] found to be superior to the opiates for a number of therapeutic purposes” (36). They went on during the article to say that one of the positive aspects of marijuana is that “there is minimal development of tolerance to cannabis products” (36). This is extremely important to consider about this drug because the fact that it is not addictive could allow it to potentially be a better alternative to pain killers. Painkillers, such as oxycodone, are extremely addictive and can be dangerous to administer to people in serious pain because they are highly addictive. If people were to use marijuana rather than pain killers for their pain they would be a lot less likely to become addicted to the drug subsiding their pain and would be more likely to stop using the drug once their pain is gone.
The other extremely important positive aspect of marijuana is the fact that there has not been a lethal dose of marijuana found for humans. According to The Health and Psychological Effects of Cannabis Use written by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales:
“the acute toxicity of cannabis, and cannabinoids generally, is very low. There are no cases of fatal cannabis poisoning in the human medical literature. […]The lethal dose also increases as one moves up the phylogenetic tree, suggesting that the lethal dose in humans could not be achieved by smoking or swallowing cannabis,” (xix).
This is a very key fact about marijuana that should be...