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Is Medical Marijuana Legal?

May 23, 2021 Uncategorized

Marijuana is commonly known as weed, Mary Jane, bud, grass, and many other slang terms. It is a greenish-gray mixture of Cannabis Sativa’s dried flowers. Many people smoke marijuana rolled-in cigar wraps. Marijuana is also used in brewing tea. When consumed and sold for medicinal purposes, it is mixed with edible foods such as cookies, candies, carts, or brownies. People can also consume marijuana with vaporizer carts.


Other forms of marijuana are more substantial and contain a high dose of active ingredients like hard waxy budder, amberlike shatter, and hash oil. These ingredients are popularly used for recreational and medical purposes. The main chemical in marijuana that is responsible for intoxicating effects is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The chemical is derived from resins produced by the leaves of a female cannabis plant.


How Safe and Functioning is Marijuana as a Medicine?


The medical components and properties of marijuana have been a subject of heated debates and research for decades. Marijuana properties like THC have proved to have medical benefits in specific formulations. The FDA approved THC-based medications like Naboline and Dronabinol to treat patients with nausea when undergoing cancer chemotherapy.


Other marijuana-based medications are undergoing clinical trials, while others have been approved. Nabiximols, a mouth spray, are currently available in Canada, the United Kingdom, and some European countries. It is effective in the treatment of neuropathic and spasticity pain when combined with THC and Cannabidiol.


The FDA has also approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based liquid drug for treating severe childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome. The medication is administered in a reliable dosage through a reproducible route to ensure the patient acquires the necessary benefits. Medical practitioners consider medications that use purified chemicals from marijuana plants to be more beneficial than using the whole marijuana plant.


Extracting drugs from botanicals like marijuana plants has a lot of challenges. Botanicals may contain multiple unknown and active chemicals. This makes it complex to develop an accurate and reliable dose of these drugs. Using marijuana for medical purposes causes other problems like the health effects of smoking and cognitive impairment caused by THC.


Many states have legalized the use of marijuana for the treatment of several medical conditions. People are not aware of the long-term effects of medical marijuana when used with the elderly and people with health conditions like AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Advanced research is needed to define whether people with a severe health condition and undergoing compromised treatments are exposed to greater risk if they use marijuana.


The Scope of Marijuana in the United States


Marijuana has gained popularity as one of the common addictive drugs after alcohol and tobacco. More people are consuming marijuana in the past years, and its use is more prevalent in men. According to the Monitoring the Future survey, many youths start consuming marijuana in their eighth grade.


Health emergencies note there is increased use of marijuana. They receive over 450000 drug-related cases in the emergency department, and marijuana is leading in the medical record. It is not yet determined why there is a significant rise in the use of marijuana.



The use of marijuana for medical purposes has been legalized in 36 states in the United States. The other remaining states have restraining laws against cannabis and its THC content. Each state has different regulations on medical marijuana, including how it’s extracted, distributed, consumed, and what medical condition it can treat. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Different states followed suit, and after successful ballot initiatives in 1998 and 2000, Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical cannabis through state legislature acts. Before 2016, many states had legalized medical marijuana.


Consumption of marijuana remains prohibited at the federal level by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. In the Act, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug. It is determined to have a high level of abuse and is not accepted for medical use. This policy is enforced by the Justice Department in various ways, including civil asset forfeiture, paramilitary raids, and criminal prosecutions. The aim is to reach out to cannabis producers and threaten them with multiple penalties.


Most states prohibit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. However, several states have adopted legalization policies to ease possession of noncriminal offenses. Other states pose severe penalties like long-term imprisonment when found in possession of a small amount of cannabis.


Cannabis is approved for medical and recreational purposes in different states like the District of Columbia and all sub national jurisdictions except Washington DC. There is a massive support to allow cannabis for medical purposes since 1999, when the subject found seventy-three percent favor.


Benefits of Legalizing Medical Marijuana


Even though several states have not legalized medical marijuana, they hold votes to determine the future implication of the marijuana industry and move to legalize cannabis either for medical or recreational purposes. Different companies are researching and developing marijuana-based medication to treat severe medical conditions.


Half of the United States have included medical marijuana in their law books, while sixteen states have legalized it for recreational purposes. There are different benefits of legalizing marijuana. It could mean a big push in the states’ economy and both state and federal government. These benefits include :


  • Increasing investment opportunities
  • Creating job opportunities
  • Increased tax revenues

Final thoughts


There is a heated topic in both state and federal jurisdictions on the subject of legalizing medical marijuana. Law enforcement officers are going through a hard time keeping up with shifting regulations and increased concerns of homeless youths using drugs. Some believe changing the perception of medical marijuana means a change in the status quo. All reasons combined give way to the legalization of marijuana at the federal level soon enough. As more states legalize medical cannabis at individual levels and the economic benefits of marijuana taking effect, Drug Policy Alliance believes that cannabis should not be legalized. DPA notes it will affect social justice, equity, and community reinvestment.



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