Medical Marijuana – A Valuable Treatment
For many years, the use of marijuana has been outlawed in the United States, despite numerous studies that have proven the plant has benefits in the treatment of certain diseases, including cancer and glaucoma. In addition, the drug is both less addictive and has less long-term side effects from usage than both alcohol and tobacco, products that are currently legal for adult use in the United States. Because of these facts, the movement to legalize pot in America has gained momentum over the past two decades, and major headway has been made in the past ten years.
The use of marijuana for medical reasons is currently legal in 11 states, including California. These states have not legalized the use of pot for recreational purposes, but only for those individuals suffering from ailments that have been proven to be helped by cannabis treatments. These patients are now able to legally obtain the drug. Prior to these laws being passed, many patients suffering from chronic or terminal diseases needed to engage in criminal behavior in order to obtain a product that helps relieve many unpleasant daily symptoms, particularly nausea and vomiting. In some cases, these patients have even been prosecuted for the purchase of cannabis.
Many consider the marijuana legalization for medical purposes to be a step in the right direction, especially for a country that has an overly repressive attitude toward the drug. Although pot is legal in many countries around the world, and the tax dollars gained from the legal buying and selling of marijuana are used to stimulate the economy, American politicians have staunchly refused to jump on that bandwagon. This may be because many fear that crime rates will rise if the drug is more easily accessible or the fact that it is often considered a gateway drug that draws younger users into the world of harder drugs. Either way, buying and selling pot remains a crime punishable by prison time.
For now, however, the legalization of medical marijuana seems to be a decision that many states are able to live with. In addition to the acknowledged medical benefits that cannabis offers, pot obtained from a dispensary via a doctor’s prescription brings additional revenue into the state. The drug available from the dispensary is generally of a higher quality and produced locally, providing an overall benefit to the state’s economy. It seems to be only a matter of time before the legalization of medical marijuana goes national, perhaps opening the door for further decriminalization of the drug at a future point in time.