For many centuries now, marijuana has been used for various purposes.
But it was not until 1914 that the use of it was considered a crime.
But should marijuana be illegal when it could help people across the country who have serious health conditions?
Think of it this way. If you had a family member who will die from a chronic illness and the use of marijuana would increase his or her quality of life for the amount of time that he or she had left, would you want your loved one to have access to marijuana?
The use of marijuana may not cure the problem, but it would make the day-to-day life of the sick easier and filled with less pain. Personally, my mom is suffering from a chronic illness and medical marijuana would make her quality of life better; however, medical marijuana is not legal in Pennsylvania.
If marijuana would have positive benefits to the sick, why is it not legal across the nation? Marijuana has been used to help treat various conditions ranging anywhere from serious problems such as cancer and AIDS to minor ones like migraines or menstrual cramps. The use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in 20 states, and in five states has even been used to help treat some symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Former United States Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said “The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them.
“And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.” Also Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, did his own research and found that every 19 minutes somebody in the United States dies from prescription drug overdose, but he could not find a documented case of death from overdosing on marijuana.
I feel that since people are currently misusing and dying from prescription drugs that are trying to make them better, why are people so worried about marijuana since it will not kill them? What could really happen if marijuana was legalized? The states would receive additional money since they would acquire taxes from the sales. Also, the states would be in control to regulate the business.
If marijuana was legalized, the states would save money on prison costs. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 12.7 percent of state inmates and 12.4 percent of federal inmates are incarcerated for marijuana-related crimes. As a criminal justice major, I feel that the legalization of medical marijuana will dramastically help the correctional aspect of the criminal justice system as well as give money to the economy.
So what exactly is holding back the remaining 30 states from legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal use?