The issue of using marijuana for medical purposes has become a subject of numerous debates and provoked a series of actions aimed at legalizing this controversial method of treatment. Analysis of background and current research on the usage of marijuana for treating certain disease and the effects of its legalization reveals that there is enough evidence for considering it an acceptable way of medical treatment.
The causes of high activity of the society aimed at enforcing the legalization of medical marijuana can be found in numerous studies showing the effectiveness of usage of marijuana for decreasing or eliminating the risks related to certain diseases. Though such studies are not largely supported by enough funding, there is still enough evidence of the effectiveness of medical marijuana. Such evidence encouraged doctors to consider marijuana an effective cure relieving the symptoms of cancer, glaucoma, wasting syndrome, severe nausea, seizures, severe muscle spasms, epilepsy, and many other diseases (Hoffmann & Weber, 2010). Besides, the use of marijuana brings great results in relieving severe chronic pain (Hoffmann & Weber, 2010). Current research on the impact of usage of marijuana on the symptoms of certain diseases and its ability to prevent the further development of health problems is largely supported by health care professionals who have witnessed the positive effects of such treatment on the real experience of their patients. Large groups of people across the country and abroad share their experience of using medical marijuana and encourage wide publicity to pay more and more attention to the issue.
Fourteen states in the U.S. have already passed the laws removing penalties for using marijuana for the medical purpose (Hoffmann & Webber, 2010). Besides, numerous states are currently considering the same actions, as there is a huge activity of publicity encouraging such changes in the legislation. In Florida, there have been several attempts to pass the law eliminating penalties for people using marijuana for medical purposes. Last year, a proposed medical marijuana amendment lost, as it did not gain necessary 60 percent of votes (Billi, 2015). However, a new petition is on the way, and enough signatures would send it to the state ballot next year (Billi, 2015). The stakeholders in favor for the use of Marijuana in Florida include the Florida Cannabis Action Network, the patients considering marijuana an appropriate way of treating their diseases, the activists of the movement for the legalization of marijuana, the health care professionals regarding usage of marijuana as an effective method for curing certain health problems, and politicians supporting this view. The stakeholders in opposition for the use of marijuana in Florida include civilians considering it a dangerous drug substance, medical professionals regarding it as an ineffective cure for diseases, and politicians supporting this view.
Possible implications of the legalization of medical marijuana serve as the main argument of those who oppose passing appropriate laws. Most concerns are related to the risks of abuse of such laws and expected high rates of marijuana use among adults. Current research presents enough evidence on this matter. Chu (2014) conducted a study revealing that the laws that eliminate penalties for medical use of marijuana increased marijuana arrests among adult males by nearly 15-20%. Besides, the researcher found that marijuana treatments among adult males were increased by 10-20% after appropriate laws had been passed (Chu, 2014). However, though the use of marijuana appears to rise after passing the discussed laws, no strong evidence supports the notion that the laws lead to increasing the rates of crime. In my opinion, legalization of medical marijuana can help millions of people overcome certain health problems and should not be considered threat to public health. Morris, TenEyck, Barnes, and Kovandzic (2014) have analyzed the association between state medical marijuana laws and state crime rates. The results of the study reveal that there is no positive correlation between these laws and the rates of crimes. Therefore, the study debunks the belief that legalization of marijuana for medical purposes can cause a danger of exposure to violent crime and property crimes (Morris et al., 2014).
Legalization of medical marijuana can benefit modern medicine. Treating diseases and relieving symptoms with the help of marijuana do not have serious negative impact on the society and can help many people if properly controlled.
Billi, C. (2015). New push could legalize marijuana in Florida. Web.
Chu, Y-W. L. (2014). The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use. Journal of Health Economics, 38, 43-61.
Hoffmann, D., & Weber, E. (2010). Medical marijuana and the law. The New England Journal of Medicine, 362(16), 1453-1457.
Morris, R., TenEyck, M., Barnes, J., & Kovandzic, T. (2014). The effect of medical marijuana laws on crime: Evidence from state panel data, 1990-2006: e92816. Public Library of Science One, 9(3), 1-7.