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Stewart Washer in his article “Medical Cannabis” shared that the earliest written record of marijuana use dates back to 2727 BC

Stewart Washer in his article “Medical Cannabis” shared that the earliest written record of marijuana use dates back to 2727 BC, to the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung. In most states in the United States, marijuana is illegal. Despite that, there is widespread use of marijuana for recreational as well as medicinal purposes. The debate over whether medical marijuana use is “right and wrong” changes based on where the discussion is being held figuratively as well as literally. Amongst conservative minds of thought, for example the governor of Colorado, John W. Hickenlooper, when Amendment 64 came to ballot in 2012 (Blake and Finlaw, 2014), marijuana use should not be allowed no matter what the circumstances. Others driven by frustration, pain, and greed (Washer, 2017) disagree. People suffering from certain illnesses as described in the article “Joint Effects: A Pilot Investigation of the Impacts of Bipolar Disorder and Marijuana Use on Cognitive Function and Mood” (Sagar, K. et al., 2016), who suffer with bipolar disorder or certain cancers, strongly believe relief can come through the form of medical marijuana. People who enjoy the effects of marijuana and are comfortable with the side effects, simply want to be able to enjoy their method of entertainment legally without consequences. There are new industries that have been created since the legalization of medical marijuana. So they have a voice in this argument (Blake and Finlaw, 2014). All of those in industries that might profit from the growth, distribution, and sell of marijuana, simply want permission to exploit the drug in the way that brings in the most money. This paper will consider the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana medically, in all States. Drug policies in America attempt to curtail drug activity. That was not so difficult to enforce when most of the US population believed marijuana use was sin. They believed marijuana was a gateway drug that could lead to addiction (Blake, D. and Finlaw, J. 2014). Therefore marijuana was an addictive drug and sin. This is not a new problem, but a problem that expands exponentially with technology. It is the responsibility of stewards in the medical field to research medicines that can heal or relieve pain. It was inevitable marijuana would be considered as a possible cure for illnesses like anxiety attacks, headaches, or muscle spasms. Its calming effects on some people was enough evidence to support testing it for certain ailments. Marijuana is legal for medical use in 31 states. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana was the most used illicit drug in America (NIDA. (2018, June 25)). That same source stated in 2011, there were 456,000 of drug-related emergency department visits in which marijuana is mentioned in the hospital records (NIDA. (2018, June 25)). Governments all over the world are chasing the consumer demand for this substance and the increasing proof that marijuana was good for a variety of illnesses (Washer, S, 2017). Washer describes the parts of the marijuana plant, psychotropic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) that bind with natural receptors in the body to cause a therapeutic reaction which can address pain control and anti-inflammatory activity. California was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in 1996. It took another twenty years before the State legalized the drug for recreational use as well (Kamin, S., 2017). David Blake and Jack Finlaw (2014) describe Colorado’s war for legalization for medicinal purposes in 2000, Amendment 20 and recreational in 2012. There were still concerns after Amendment 20 was created. It did not establish a lawful distribution network. U.S. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden was forced to pin a bill that changed the status of medical marijuana, basically decimalizing it. This opened the flood gates on distributors of medical marijuana and created entrepreneurs (Blake and Finlaw, 2014). Drug dealers became legitimate overnight, but there was no control over who could buy legally and from whom. The product needed some kind of control. Blake and Finlaw described how the public outcry over the unregulated businesses required the Colorado General Assembly to create laws putting the job of distribution of prescriptions on doctors and caregivers. The Health Department was responsible for who could receive prescriptions for receiving medicinal marijuana cards. Now, marijuana is legal in 30 states and Washington, DC for medical purposes (Kamin, S. 2017). If 30 out of 50 states have already legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, other states must be considering the possibility as well. Will North Carolina be next? Police officers polled from the Elon, NC police force, tend to support the idea marijuana should remain an illicit drug. One of the reasons they used to support their opinion is the problem they have trying to distinguish when a person is using the drug because of a medical condition or for recreation (Janicello, N., 2014). There are many positives about medicinal marijuana. Despite the fact this drug is illicit, testing has shown and patients have testified being relived from medical illness such as: pain nausea, bipolar disorder incidents, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy ((Saga, K. et.al, 2016). Studies in Canada show medicinal marijuana is being used to address the side effects from cancer like nausea, and pre-trial testing confirms some positive results battling cancer cells (Washer, S., 2017). But there are still doubters. According to the article “Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicides by Gender and Age” (Anderson, M. D, Rees, D., Sabia, J., 2013) opponents of legalizing marijuana for any reason suggest point to studies that indicate marijuana use is associated with depression, the onset of panic attacks and similar mental abnormalities. However the authors of the paper supporting this theory were quick to defend the possibility of faulty testing methods in this case. There are some interesting facts to be considered about medicinal marijuana. There is a lot of money is being made but no Federal laws to control production of medical marijuana. According to Dr. Stewart Washer, the US recreational and medicinal cannabis market is valued at $3.5 billion with 65% being attributed to patients using medical cannabis for chronic pain (IBISWorld, 2016). In past history, money made from drugs and any activities that dealt with drugs, has been considered illegal. Now companies are springing up just to produce medicinal marijuana with a variety of activities (Stewart, 2017). The US Government cannot ignore this problem much longer. Laws must be made that govern all States the same. Is it more socially acceptable if the marijuana is being used for medicinal purposes? As a Country, we spout strong moral attitudes labeling marijuana “illegal” and therefore bad. That is not always true, even as it relates to drugs. Clinical testing supports the positive effects medicinal marijuana has had on some diseases. Medical marijuana has been used to reduce opioid dependency (Washer, 2017). Every negative and positive reason for legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes must be considered. This should not be decided on a State by State case. We should put our moral objectives away for the literal healing of U.S. citizens. The people of the United States should follow in the steps of California and Colorado and make the choice to decriminalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. References Anderson, D.M., Rees, D. I., Sabia, J.J. (2013). Medicinal marijuana laws and suicides by Gender. American Journal of Public Health,1-8. Blake, D., & Finlaw, J. (2014). Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Learned Lessons. Harvard Law & Policy Janicello, N. (2014). Debate continues legalization of marijuana issue. Thetimesnews.com Kamin, S. (2017). What California can learn from Colorado’s Marijuana Regulations. University of the Pacific Law Review, 49(1), 13-42 Retrieved from https://login.proxy181.nclive.org/login? Url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? Direct=true;db=a9h;AN=130174487;site-ehost-live NIDA.(2018, June 25). What is the scope of marijuana useage. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/reserach-reports/marijuana on 018, October 31. WASHER, S. (2017). MEDICAL CANNABIS: The current and future investment market. Australasian Biotechnology, 27(2), 26–27. Retrieved from https://login.proxy181.nclive.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true;db=a9h;AN=128631415;site=ehost-live