by Patrick Gallagher
Medical marijuana users would agree that the best no-nonsense painkiller out there is the daily usage of marijuana, and is quickly becoming hand over fist the highest demand medical product on the market. In fact, many researchers would agree that benefits of medical marijuana truly exist. Peer-reviewed research has found that marijuana exhibits a serious pain-halting effect that comes with zero adverse side effects. Despite this information, there is still one hurdle to overcome for the wildly growing consumer product in its ascent to becoming nationally acclaimed: the fact that many users, if it is obvious and openly used enough for the local police to seek out, can potentially be arrested and imprisoned given the ‘right’ circumstances.
The Benefits of Medical Marijuana – Are they being overlooked?
Why is it that, on the national level, marijuana is becoming as highly regarded as an alternative painkiller with no associated side effects? More importantly, why is it still viewed by government officials as an illegal substance and a schedule one narcotic, over 40 years later? The federal government still claims, in defiance of the compiling scientific evidence showcasing the benefits of medical marijuana, that marijuana has ’no accepted medical use’. With painkillers ultimately leading to more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, it is important to distinguish which ‘drugs’ is really more dangerous than the other.
Around 40 years later the nation is now progressing towards national acclaim; fifteen states and the District of Columbia, acting independently of one another, recognize the medical benefits of marijuana and all have laws regulating the herb as medication. However, until 2009 the Justice department allowed federal prosecutors to terminate any American citizen using the plant for medicinal purposes, acting against those laws set by the state. Even now in these states there are DEA raids happening to dispensaries and production industries alike – without any consideration of state laws. Of course, even if they are breaking the state law, the department states that since they are of federal jurisdiction the organization acts independently of the state. Ironically enough, the agency takes orders directly from the Department headquarters – just outside of Washington, D.C.
Though the benefits of medical marijuana are ignored by the federal government, many scientists seemingly agree that the benefits of marijuana from a medicinal standpoint heavily outweigh the risk when it comes to aiding patients. While anti-marijuana legislators typically state that smoke is technically harmful to your lungs, research has shown that marijuana may actually be beneficial to lung health. In addition, smoking marijuana is only one method of intake. Ingesting it through a wide, often healthy variety of foods as well as vaporizing the substance will provide the same effect as smoking without the health risks associated with smoking, while also omitting any chemical ingestion.
There are other uses for the hemp plant as well. Hemp oil has been used for centuries as a relaxing dermal medicine. The plant matter can also be reconstituted as paper from the pulp of the plant, which could potentially save tens of thousands of trees from being cut for the same use. So what reasons does the federal government have for sustaining such an overly generalized blanket national ban on the hemp plant? To this very day they have not provided any sort of details on why they persist. If you’re asking me, profiteering is all the motive they need.
As more individuals continue to fight for our freedoms, the benefits of medical marijuana and the suppression revolving around every aspect of the plant will be further recognized.