Wonder Drug – Essay – Zack Byrd
David ByrdMs. NolenEnglish 1301-09 4 March 2016Wonder DrugI’ve been smoking marijuana for 44 years now, and … I think it’s a tremendous blessing! In fact, I first began to look at marijuana as a professor of psychiatry at Harvard medical school in 1967… I wanted to do something about all these young people who were using this terribly dangerous drug and perhaps if I could write a reasonably objective statement about this and get it published, in a vehicle which they would be interested in, maybe I could do something about it. Much to my astonishment, here I was trained in science and medicine and had to discover that I had been brainwashed like just about every other American. (Grinspoon)What Lester Grinspoon means here is that there is a negative connotation surrounding marijuana limiting the amount of interest in society for medical purposes. In [a][b]recent discussions of marijuana, a controversial issue is whether or not it should be legalized for medical usage. On one hand, some argue that marijuana should not be legalized because it is terrible for the user’s health and some people may become dependent. On the other hand, however, others argue for the legalization of marijuana because it treats an abundance of ailments. Harvard Medical Professor Lester Grinspoon says, “I first approached marijuana from the point of view … I was sure it was unsafe. Once I was convinced that it was safe, and satisfied my curiosity about it, it took me a number of years to realize what a remarkable substance it was” (Grinspoon). In other words, Grinspoon advocates legalizing medicinal marijuana, although many Americans disagree with him. In sum, the issue is whether legalizing for medical purposes benefits both individuals and society or not. Marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. Although marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes, Suzanne Johannigman and Valerie Eschiti disagree. In their article “Medical Use of Marijuana in Palliative Care” Johannigman, registered nurse at Decatur County Hospital, and Eschiti, associate professor in the College of Nursing at Oklahoma University, argue against legalizing marijuana, even for medical purposes. Johannigman and Eschiti claim there are certain implications concerning medical marijuana use. They state, “Another concern regarding legalization is dependence; 9% of users may become dependent” (Johannigman 2). Eschiti and Johannigman also assert that legalizing marijuana could result in the running of advertisements on television and radio where children would be influenced by these ads. The two then state that smoking any substance increases the risk of lung cancer, the highest mortality rate of any cancer type. These points show Johannigman and Eschiti stand to oppose the legalization of medical marijuana.
First, recent studies show the benefits of medical marijuana destroying cancer cells, therefore, marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. I disagree with Johannigman and Eschiti. In my view, the use of medical marijuana benefits health. For instance, studies in laboratories show that cannabinoids may hinder cancerous tumor growth by causing cell death (Cannabis). In addition, the user does not have to smoke marijuana to experience the benefits. New forms of medical marijuana are available including: baked goods, sodas, candy, and lotions. Some might object on the grounds that the medical benefits of marijuana are only achieved through smoking. Yet, I would argue that medical marijuana is stronger when used with other forms of administration. Overall I believe that medical marijuana should be legalized, an important point to make given that it is proven to kill cancer cells in the body. Many agree that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes because it is less addicting than many legal drugs. Anyone familiar with the cannabis culture should agree that a debate surrounds whether or not it should be legalized for medical purposes because some in society believe the user may become dependent. In fact, research shows that individuals are five times more likely to be dependent on nicotine, the main addictive property in tobacco, than marijuana (Addictive). Johannigman and Eschiti are wrong that because 9% of individuals become addicted constitutes a major concern for why we should not legalize marijuana for medical purposes. 9% signifies a small population of individuals who become addicted. These statistics do not define what the FDA classify as a schedule one “dangerous” drug. The DEA defines schedule 1 drugs as, “…drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence” (DEA). With this definition tobacco and alcohol should be classified in schedule 1 since they both are more addicting and physically harmful than marijuana. People familiar with this issue should agree that tobacco and alcohol are more addictive and harmful than marijuana. My view is that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes, considering only 9% may become dependent. These conclusions add weight to the argument that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. [c]
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(2016, 04). Wonder Drug. EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 04, 2016, from