Drugs come with side effects. There is no such thing as a perfect drug for everyone. Some people are highly sensitive or can be allergic to synthetic drugs. Pain relievers may take away the pain, but the nausea, dizziness, constipation and other side effects create a new set of problems. It can be a frustrating struggle for patients seeking quality of life as they deal with chronic pain, cancer and other health conditions. Every practical option should be made available to these patients.
Cannabis or marijuana is a desirable choice for some patients because of the drug’s side effects. It has the ability to increase the desire for food. Individuals going through chemotherapy for cancer that do not respond to synthetic anti-nausea medication may find the natural remedy a welcome alternative. Prior to the federal prohibition of marijuana in 1937, cannabis was routinely manufactured and distributed by respectable pharmaceutical firms. There was a clear medical need and use for it.
Demonizing marijuana was an amazingly successful political ploy by the United States’ first Drug Czar, Harry Anslinger. Testifying before Congress, Anslinger stated that marijuana use led to:
- Sex Crimes
- White women having sex with black men
- Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, entertainers abusing marijuana
Anslinger remained the drug czar for many years playing on people’s fears. It gave him job security. When racist remarks were no longer acceptable – socially or politically, marijuana was said to be the gateway drug to other drugs. Federally, it remains on the list of Schedule I drugs, which means it has no medical value. Anslinger’s campaign strategy of creating and manipulating the irrational fear of marijuana remains intact to this day—at least at the Federal level.
A number of States have looked rationally at the medicinal value of cannabis and realize that the federal government is incorrect. Americans suffering with medical conditions should be able to have marijuana as a potential choice for treatment. Since cannabis is a mood altering substance with the potential for abuse, it should be classified as a Schedule II drug.
Fawkes-Lee and Ryan believe:
- Cannabis is a Schedule II drug
- Manufacturing and distribution should be regulated
- Cost should be reasonable and affordable
- Medical use should be easily accessible
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