Why is a plant that can help millions illegal? Marijuana has an abundance of medical treatments and uses, for a much more affordable price then other medications. Not only that, the side effects are far less severe than that of prescribed medications for anxiety, depression, etc. Thirty two of the fifty states have already legalized or began legalizing marijuana. Medical marijuana should be legalized in the United states and utilize the medical advantages it offers.
Marijuana has been used for herbal remedy for centuries. New medical uses have already been discovered. With further research and government support the possibilities and uses for marijuana could be endless. “”The FDA requires carefully conducted studies in hundreds to thousands of human subjects to determine the benefits and risks of a possible medication.”” (drug abuse) However some cannabinoids have already been FDA approved for medical use. There are over 100 cannabinoids in marijuana. “”Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical interest are THC and CBD.”” (National Institute) New medical uses for CBD and THC are still being discovered.
Marijuana is already being used to treat many different illnesses and pain relief. An example being pain nausea/vomiting, hot flashes, loss of appetite, anxiety, and insomnia caused by breast cancer. “”Still, because marijuana is federally illegal, research on marijuana to manage cancer treatment side effects is limited.”” (Medical Marijuana: What you need to know) Other illnesses and mental disorders treatable with marijuana include muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis, nausea from cancer chemotherapy, weight loss caused by HIV or nerve pain, seizure disorders, crohn’s disease, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, alzheimer’s, parkinson’s and many others. Marijuana is being used to help thousands of people. Government support could take it to the next level. By greatly decreasing the number of overdoses and deaths from prescribed medication, and treating patients who can’t find any other medication that helps. The versatility is also a huge advantage, making it unique to each patient. Marijuana comes in many forms including edibles, bud, oils, creams, and sprays. Making it more of a medicine and avoiding the need to smoke. Marijuana has all the effects and forms of medication, yet isn’t allowed to be used to its max potential.
Another advantage of medical marijuana is the side effects, as compared to other prescribed medicines such as antidepressants or adderall. Side effects caused by marijuana are often far less severe than those of antidepressants or medically known as SSRIs and SNRIs. As someone who is prescribed adderall and an antidepressant, learning the side effects for the first time is a terrifying, heart dropping feeling. “”Common side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can include feeling agitated, shaky or anxious, feeling and being sick, indigestion and stomach aches, diarrhoea or constipation, loss of appetite, dizziness, not sleeping well (insomnia), or feeling very sleepy, headaches, low sex drive, difficulties achieving orgasm during sex or masturbation, in men, difficulties obtaining or maintaining an erection.”” (NHS Choices) The most common side effects I’ve experienced while taking my antidepressant would be sexual problems, feeling emotionally numb, not feeling like myself, not caring about anything, and the worst being the suicidal feelings. That’s what got me interested in the use of marijuana as an antidepressant. “”Users of medical marijuana may experience the following side effects changes in mood, lack of coordination, trouble thinking and solving problems, increased appetite, difficulty concentrating, urinary retention, slurred speech, dizziness, red eyes, dry mouth and throat, impaired judgment, and slower reaction time.”” (Medical Marijuana- Side Effects) To me, the list of side effects from marijuana is far more comforting than those of antidepressants.
Price is also a huge factor. “”Medicines used to treat depression range in cost from $30 to $200 per month”” (Cost of Medication), with some medications costing nearly $600. Without good insurance some depression victims are forced to go untreated due to the price of the medication, therapy, etc. “”I know without really good insurance the medication I’m on would not be obtainable.”” (Trefil, Keegan) The sad reality is low income people often go unmedicated or self medicate themselves with illegal marijuana. Nobody should be forced to live with untreated depression or anxiety. Suicide is the second largest cause of death for young people, caused by depression and feeling of hopelessness. Medical marijuana could stop people from going untreated, and maybe even drastically change the number of suicides occurring each year. When they can buy a gram of marijuana for $5 to $20 it seems like the obvious, smarter decision anyways.
Medical marijuana has been used to treat thousands, and could potentially help many more. With a huge range of treatment options and less severe side effects of the medications then medications that are currently being prescribed. Marijuana could be potentially be a more positive treatment option, and a more affordable option for those who can’t afford overpriced medication. It seems like a rather obvious decision. Medical marijuana should be legal in all of the United States, and finally exploit all of its potential.