Legalizing Medical Marijuana—
Will it Leave Us in a Thick Billow of Smoke?

By Abrahim Harb

Legalizing medical marijuana has been a hot topic that seems to be always left to burn out itself much like cigarette in a ashtray. Personally I am on the fence about this issue, but I am leaning towards con side. Although, the common misconception that marijuana has no negative effects, there are many—only if it is used for medical reasons. It is mostly used as a illicit drug in the United States, it has effects that can last for up too three hours, when smoked. When it is digested via food the effects usually take longer to set in and last longer. Regardless of what may be said marijuana in its natural state, has a positive effect on the user, if used properly to cure something from cancer, to low blood pressure, among many others.

Legalization of medical marijuana is not looked upon fondly by doctors and “37% of doctors felt they did not have sufficient knowledge about the potential of medicinal uses of cannabis and 32% of doctors indicated they would consider prescribing medical cannabis products if it were legal to do so” according to http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org. How can it be legalized and then put into use when doctors, when doctors are going to be prone to avoid the used of this “legalized medical marijuana”. According to the U.S. Government this medical marijuana can control symptoms of diseases ranging from Alzheimer's and cancer to anorexia and migraines. At first glance most people would say go ahead, legalize it, not realizing the negative effect it has on your body, as well as other medications out there.

But the side effects of medical marijuana are extremely negative, whether its smoked, inhaled through vaporization or cannabis flower tops and leaves are filtered into oils and can be inhaled via a pipe or can be simmered in butter and used for cooking. Some of the effects can cause a increased incidence of bronchitis and respiratory infections, and a bigger risk of getting cancer of the throat and repertory tract. The health benefits can become negated when the marijuana is heated to a high temperature, and finally eating too much can cause loss of consciousness and vomiting.

After researching some effects and ways to use medical marijuana, I would not try it myself, nor would I recommend it to anybody. In the times where cell do more than make calls and the economy is like a roller coaster, people use and abused drugs that are illegal by selling and smoking them. Imagine if it was legalized, not only will doctors not accept it with welcoming arms. They will also have to be very careful in prescribing it, fearing somebody will become addicted to it as somebody could be come addicted to sleeping pills. Sanjay Gupta who is a medical correspondent for CNN said the following on medical marijuana "I'm constantly amazed that after all there years--and all the wars on drugs and all the public-service announcements--nearly 15 million American still have marijuana at least once a month."

The particular element of marijuana that can supposedly be used for medical purposes should be isolated, maybe even made artificially in a way that it will not have the terribly negative effect medical marijuana will have. More carcinogenic hydrocarbons is in tobacco smoke than in marijuana and stays in our lungs longer allowing the carcinogenic hydrocarbons to be exposed to the lungs longer. marijuana wreaks havoc on your brain because the chemical become unbalanced. Also affected is the ability to remember, adapt quickly and learn are affected which could also lead to depression.

In my opinion, out of the many things out there such as smoking cigarettes, cigars or other drugs ,and drinking; marijuana is the most likely to make you hallucinate and cause temporary Schizophrenia. You can hallucinate and become a threat to the people around you, whether in public or at home. It could be assumed that the side effects of smoking marijuana illegally and medical marijuana will be the same, leaving the person temporarily with no control over their body. Studies show that 6 to 11 percent of fatal accidents occur while being under the influence of this drug. With that being said what if the same side effects in illegal marijuana also apply to medical marijuana, that would be a big “oops” on the government who legalized it.

With all this being said, how will this medical marijuana affect pregnant women and how will it affects the use of it by teens as a illicit drug? Research and common sense reveals that it will affect the baby in a negative way, leading to disabilities, deformations, or even still born. Marijuana has been traced back to 2737 B.C. when a emperor in China prescribes cannabis for beri-beri, constipation, “female weakness”, absentmindedness and gout. Who is too know, as to whether it worked or not. Either way you slice the pie, I see it as a cheap and ineffective way to temporarily fix your medical issues. Taking other medications, or having treatments would be somewhat better that medical marijuana. In January of 2006 San Diego County supervisors sued the state in an attempt to overturn the laws that had been put into motion to allow the medical use of marijuana. In this allegation, a suit was filed on January 20 of that same year in a US District Court in San Diego that states “the federal statues prohibiting possession and use of marijuana pre-empt state law.” The rest of the world should take notice from this, and follow in the foot steps of San Diego.

Although, the overall rate of marijuana use in the U.S. has risen by roughly 4,000% since marijuana was first outlawed in 1937, many people still do drugs. A domino effect starts, and most likely, the spouse of the user, the children, and the children’s children will start to use drugs, and soon enough there will be a entire generation of drug users that taint the name of the family. Teens are pressured every day into doing drugs, whether its to fit it, or to forget the issues that they have, whether they be personal, family or intimacy issues.

My drug of choice, is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As cliché as all of this may sound, that is true. If I could spread the joy, laughter, and knowledge I have acquired to one troubled teen; I could start a movement and stop drug users dead in their tracks.

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