Medical marijuana has become a hot topic among health and legal issues in contemporary society as many states consider whether or not to legalize the controlled substance for medical use. Some states are actually weighing the positives and negatives of actually legalizing the substance for recreational use like Colorado and Washington have done, but the states are being much more cautious about full legalization. Even the two who have legalized recreational use have set strict limits on the amount of marijuana a person can actually purchase or possess at one time. Medical marijuana legalization at least seems to have the most viability when states consider new legislation on the substance, as new research is released that supports the effective medical impact it has on particular types of illnesses. But, should medical marijuana be legal everywhere?
Marijuana was demonized as having zero medical applications for many years, which was also claimed as a component of the need for classification as contraband. Today we know better after significant positive results have been found in test cases and lab experiments. Marijuana has been found to have positive and effective impact on diseases such as glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, there are no known instances of death attributed directly to marijuana use by anyone involved in a case study. The active ingredient is also capable of being manufactured in forms that do not require smoking the drug for effective usage. Ingesting marijuana into the lungs has been the most common worry among medical professionals because of the toxins in the smoke that cannot be removed from the lungs later, and oral forms of the drug have changed attitudes considerably.
The greatest disadvantages of medical marijuana are political and economic. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and the federal government shows no signs of lifting that ban, regardless of what the people of the states want. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The federal government will never agree to releasing the power to control the states without political upheaval. However, as states move to legalize the substance anyway, regardless of the reasoning, the progression of implementing marijuana into the health treatment field will continue because medical professionals and marijuana advocates alike are diligent in promoting the advantages of the drug as a treatment option, especially when nothing else even compares in effectiveness to marijuana.
While the federal government has not chosen to prosecute cases where marijuana is used medicinally, the politics surrounding use of the drug are still significant and will continue to be in the short term. The eventual acceptance appears to be on the long term horizon and many entrepreneurs see this emerging market. The next problem to be corrected will be the astronomical price, which could easily be reduced by full legalization of marijuana, including cultivation.