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Heward1 Will Heward Professor Strickland English 1010 19 November 2013 Medical Marijuana IEP

There are a lot of myths out there. Is Big Foot real? Did Tupac die? Is Area 51 real? Where is it located? Myths interest me very much. I decided to talk about the uses of marijuana for medical purposes. There are many that believe the use of the drug marijuana has an incredible amount of health benefits. There are many different points of view on this because of course many believe the drug is a gateway drug to different/harder drugs. As a society we hear all about the bad effects of marijuana, but never about the positive effects. Do the negatives outweigh the positives? These are all questions I had as I started researching for this paper and this is why I chose this topic. There are pro- medicinal cannabis voices claiming that a high is not really an undesirable effect of inhaled cannabis, and it is hard to find fault with the argument that a feeling of well-being and contentment is not a bad thing for patients suffering with chronic pain. Medical marijuana is used to treat constant pain in chronic illnesses. It decreases the symptoms such as types of pain, vomiting, nausea, and others caused in serious illnesses like cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS but, should medicinal marijuana really be legal and is it necessary to use Marijuana as a treatment?

Heward2 I would like to discuss if medical marijuana dispensaries draw crime to their surrounding communities. While recent headlines insinuate this, a coherent examination of crime statistics proves otherwise. On Dec. 17th, The Denver Post devoted extensive coverage to medical marijuana. A front page story chronicled Denver's regulatory efforts and the local section was headlined by a piece titled "Pot clinic robbed by pair of men: Denver police report 25 medicalmarijuana-related crimes in the last five months." Any robbery is traumatic and troubling, especially for the victims, I believe it should also be evaluated in a larger context. Jessica Corry, Lauren Davis, Robert Corry, Jr., and Bob Hoban are Denver attorneys currently representing a coalition of medical marijuana patients and caregivers. The insight that the article had about these patients and caregivers was very interesting. It was written in late November of 2011 which gives it a very up to date appeal. I am not sure that this source can necessarily be considered credible because in a sense it is talking about crime rate that medical marijuana dealers have fallen victim of. At the same time, it shows that if there were no Medical Marijuana being issued that there would be no opportunity for a medical marijuana dispensary to be broken into or stolen from. According to Ghoshs views, drug legalization could reduce government costs and raise tax revenues, but opponents worry over health and social ills. State governments facing massive fiscal deficits might consider a rather unusual way to alleviate those debts through the legalization of drugs like marijuana and thereby ending the costly drug war. Palash R. Ghosh, senior writer for the International Business Times, has written many credible articles about affairs both nationally and globally. I found the article to be quite informative and it gave me a different viewpoint that I have never thought of before. With the Prohibition of Marijuana, many bad people have been able to

Heward3 make a lot of money, money that could be going into our government system. Since 2006, about 30,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug wars, which have now spilled over the border and exacerbate the illegal immigration problem. This is a research article done by Jennifer L. Janicheck and Amanda Reiman about how medical cannabis dispensaries following the social or hybrid model offer supplementary holistic services in addition to dispensing medical cannabis. Historically, alternative physical health services have been the norm for these dispensaries, including services such as yoga, acupuncture, or chiropractor visits. A clinical service dearth remains for medical cannabis patients seeking substance use, misuse, dependence, and mental health services. This study examined patient desires for various clinical services and level of willingness to participate in specific clinical services. Both Jennifer L. Janicheck and Amanda Reiman studied at The Institute for Metropolitan Affairs, Roosevelt University, Chicago, USA and The University of California, Berkeley, USA. I found a lot of valuable research done from these two doctors throughout their article and I think that they put an immense amount of work into completing it. The article is about an essay they did on those who are prescribed to use Medical Marijuana and if they would be open to trying something different. A significant portion of the sample, 62%, indicated a desire to participate in free clinical services at HHC, 34% would like more information about substances and use, and 41% want to learn more about reducing harms from substance use. About one quarter of the participants marked would or likely would participate in individual services such as consultation. Approximately 20% indicated would or likely would participate in

Heward4 psycho-educational forums, harm reduction information sharing sessions, online support groups, and coping, life, and social skills group. The basis of this article is saying that Medicinal Marijuana is being misused in many cases and that patients are coming to physicians asking for Marijuana when they do not need it. Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD, MTS, has written many other articles such as; Changing the Name of Dementia during Residency Training Paliperidone for treatment of schizophrenia. I think that legalizing marijuana has many setbacks and problems that come with it. People try to find their own way around the fact that they do not really need it and come to physicians asking for prescriptions, wasting their time when someone else could really use the appointment. Bill Frist, MD and Former US Senator, says he understands many believe marijuana is the most effective drug in combating their medical ailments buthe believes that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms. I would say that I agree with MD Bill Frist. It is pretty hard to believe that out of all the technology we possess in this day and age we dont have a safer less addictive drug that has just as many benefits as marijuana. Both sides of this debate have credible, valued authors supporting different opinions yet all are credible. On the Pro-Cannabis side of the argument, it is said that Marijuana is the best drug for those suffering from chronic pain yet on the Con-Cannabis side, it is said that Marijuana is not the best cure for those types of patients and there are many other drugs that would have the same effect.

Heward5 I believe many of the points that Joycelyn Elders and Bill Frist talk about are true statements. Joycelyn Elders is the former US Surgeon General with an MD, Bill Frist is a former US Senator, also with an MD, as well as statements fromm the National Eye Institute and the American College of Physicians. Both with impressive track records and are very well educated. Being able to see both sides of the argument coming from very qualified, educated doctors and physicians was rather resourceful. Joycelyn Elders, MD, former US Surgeon General says how 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." On the other hand, Bill Frist, MD and Former US Senator, says he understands many believe marijuana is the most effective drug in combating their medical ailments but that he would caution against this assumption due to the lack of consistent, repeatable scientific data available to prove marijuana's medical benefits and that based on current evidence, he believes that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms. In an another resourceful article Mark Ware, MD, explains how the world of "medical marijuana" continues to cry out for clear data on which to base medical decision making and rational policy design. In this issue of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Abrams and colleagues report that vaporized cannabis does not meaningfully affect opioid plasma levels and may even augment the efficacy of oxycodone and morphine in patients with chronic non-cancer pain

Heward6 Mark Ware, MD, Department of Family Medicine and Department of Anesthesia at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is a very credible source. After doing more research on him I found that he has been writing articles on the subject for nearly 10 years. I liked to see that Mark Ware had done so much research on the topic and I felt as though I could trust his personal opinion on the topic. He says how Cannabis could be as strong of pain reliever as oxycodone and morphine, which is something I did not find in any of the other articles I was researching yet, he does not think that it should be legalized nor used for medicinal purposes. He added to my perspective in that medicinal marijuana truly does not need to be practiced amongst the medical world and that other forms of treatment would have the exact same effect for the patients pain. Both Jennifer L. Janicheck and Amanda Reiman have the same views toward the subject that Mark Ware does. Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD, MTS, wrote an article saying that Medicinal Marijuana is being misused in many cases and that patients are coming to physicians asking for Marijuana when they do not need it. Lastly, there is a huge lack of scientific knowledge on medicinal cannabis that needs to be further studied before the United States can begin to recommend it as a treatment. Despite the 16 states that have legalized marijuana, we must realize the negative effects it will have on the patients who are treated with it. The negative effects outweigh the positive effects by a landslide. There is no question that medical marijuana helps reduce pain, but the side effects on a human being are way too severe. Our decision as a country to change the law of these 16 states, and keep marijuana illegal, is important for the health of our fellow Americans and important for our own integrity.


Works Cited Corry, Jessica. Davis, Lauren. Corry, Robert. Jr. Hoban, Bob. Setting the facts straight on medical marijuana., 29 January 2009. Ghosh, Palash. The pros and cons of drug legalization in the U.S., 19 October 2010. Nussbaum, AM. "But my Doctor Recommended Pot.", 26 November 2011. Staff. Should marijuana be a medical option?, 6 May 2009. Ware, MA. Clearing the Smoke Around Medical Marijuana., 6 December 2011.