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Medical marijuana deserves consideration by U.S. government

Esteban Alarcon, Reporter, Photographer

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Marijuana garners a distasteful reputation, blinding Americans of its medicinal capabilities and overlooking the need for its federal legalization. Cannabidiol, the main therapeutic chemical in the plant, contributes to revolutionary breakthroughs in treating chronic pain and certain symptoms caused by illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, according to The Jama Network.  

Only 28 states have overcome ignorance with the legalization of medicinal cannabis. Certain U.S. politicians hesitate to merely consider a federal regulation in favor of this plant, ignoring the fact that society does not question a widely-used recreational drug, alcohol, which leads to an exceeding amount of deaths per year. Alcohol, a legal, toxic depressant, caused 88,000 deaths in 2014 according to the Family Council.

Alcohol-based companies fear the marijuana industry will diminish demand of consumers and drive down revenue and stock prices, depicting the factors which inhibit medical cannabis legalization. Companies such as Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association, and Massachusetts-Based Beer Distributors PAC fund a campaign based in Arizona revolting against any affiliation with marijuana. These companies do not stand against this medicinal herb for the good of the people, but because the drug threatens their relationship with their most valued companion: money.  

According to The Alcohol Industry Is Funding Anti-Marijuana Efforts, beer and alcohol revenue increased shortly after the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Denver, making alcohol-companies’ resentment of the marijuana industry self-contradictory. Accredited alcohol companies, such as Jack Daniels Whiskey and Spirits, continue to utilize oxymoronic business tactics as they attempt to torpedo all marijuana-based industries.

Those who refuse to accept medicinal cannabis, not to mention recreational marijuana, supercede the herb’s implemented stereotype of being a gateway drug. Society falsely labels marijuana as a “gateway drug,” but its copious medical qualities outweigh its negative attributes.

Ironically, alcohol and tobaccos possess the true “gateway drug” title. According to the Washington Post, among the high school seniors asked, 54% of the subjects experienced “gateway drug” related effects from alcohol, 32% from tobacco, and 14% from marijuana.

Unfortunately, simply smoking marijuana does not provide medicinal effects, but Shimon Ben-Shabat’s and Raphael Mechoulam’s theory of the Entourage Effect says otherwise. Cannabidiol pills, edibles, and vapor treatments show promising impacts on those treated.   

Medicinal cannabis poses hope for those suffering from a number of diseases and conditions, especially cancer. Cancer.gov describes test results on mice of cannabinoids inhibiting cancerous tumour growth and eliminating cancer cells. Delta-9-THC exemplifies exceptional effects on killing liver cancer, exhibiting the medicinal qualties cannabis offers.   

More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in laboratory dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer,” the American Cancer Society said. The A.C.S advocates for further research concerning the medical use of cannabis.

44 Americans lethally overdose daily on anxiety, painkiller, and sleep-enhancing prescriptions while zero do on cannabis with recreational and medical purposes according to ATTN. Marijuana replaces and surpasses Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall, Ambien (sleep aids), and Zoloft (antidepressants) in their medical capabilities.

In the twenty-first century, Americans cure a migraine using a handful of pills without thinking of safer, natural alternatives. Medical marijuana puts forth a revolutionary opportunity that calls for a complete shift in America’s medical practices. 

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The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Medical marijuana deserves consideration by U.S. government