In modern medicine, patients are given chemicals to either fight diseases, to cure the sick or to give relief for the discomfort they feel. People at an older age often have diseases that cannot be cured anymore, here the doctors look for the right medication that can prolong the life expectancy and make old age more meaningful. In the world today, there are more elderly than ever before as a percentage of the population. Medical Marijuana has a promising future here.
Medicines are often called drugs because they can also alter the state of mind of a person. There are chemically produced drugs and others are derived from plants, like Quinine, the powder made from the bark from a tropîcal tree, known to fight fever. It has saved millions of people from dying from Malaria. And many plants in (what has leftover of) our jungles, still wait to be discovered for their unique qualities.
Marijuana, weed, Cannabis Sativa by its Latin name, has been used since the early days of civilization. It is believed that the Hemp plants that were used to make rope were also used as anaesthetics. Variations of the female plants, containing strong resin, were specially cultivated for medical use. In this article, we make a study of the use of Medical Marijuana (Cannabis) today and why there are many reasons to support and stimulate its use. So we give you 5 major reasons.
Ease of production: Marijuana is easy to grow and therefore widely available. Since the plants used for medical treatments are the same as the ones used for recreation, it is clear that, worldwide, people now know how to grow Marijuana everywhere. By using indoor facilities in colder climates, harvesting can be done year-round, so production is assured. No laboratories are needed, just competent farming methods. Furthermore, competition among producers will ensure a reasonable price tag.
Many medications sold by big pharmaceutical companies, produced in labs, come at a high price. As a result of licences, production difficulties, lack of basic ingredients etc., these medicines remain expensive, exclusive for those who can afford them.
And pharmaceutical companies are glad to keep the situation this way; high-profit margins make the shareholders happy.
We see that people who are not covered by medical insurance often do not have the means to buy these expensive medicines and are doomed to suffer.
The fact that Marijuana is cheap to produce is therefore not in the interest of many established corporations. Since we live in a free-market society, each product should have its fair share of the market.
2. Many applications
Making the product widely and legally available on the market will also contribute to scientific research, to a better understanding of the working of the product and help treat conditions such as Alzheimer, eating disorders (anorexia), Epilepsy, Glaucoma ( eye disease), Multiple Sclerosis and even Mental health problems.
Cannabinoids, the effective substances in medical marijuana, are chemicals produced in the human body itself, related to physical functions such as appetite, memory, movement, pain. When people have problems in these areas, it is often the absence of certain substances, causing chemical imbalances, and resulting in medical complaints.
When people show a vitamin shortage in a medical exam, doctors will subscribe to vitamin pills or change the patient’s diet.
If people have problems with the above-mentioned conditions, such as loss of appetite, movement with pain, why not administer body own products (cannabinoids) that are lacking in the patient’s body and this is often the cause of the ailment?
Nowadays, there are countries all over the world relaxing their laws on the sale of cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. Areas like Amsterdam in Holland and Lethbridge in Canada have a wide array of cannabis dispensaries and cannabis coffee shops where people can safely purchase marijuana products.
3. Cannabis is widely Popular
On a Federal level, in the United States today, Marijuana is classified as a dangerous drug by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration). It is still considered a Schedule 1 drug, in the same league as Heroine, LSD or ecstasy. This classification has made research on Medical use more difficult because researchers require special licenses.
Nevertheless, as many as 33 states have already approved the sale for medical use.
The FDA has recently approved the use of the cannabidiol medicine Epidiolex for treating seizures associated with rare forms of epilepsy, and 2 others to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
It is estimated that about 59 million American citizens use marijuana frequently as a recreational drug. This is about 18% of the total population of the US, and of course, this number will probably be higher as not everybody admits to being a regular user. In general, the use of Marijuana posed little or no problems for the majority of the users.
One of the reasons that Marijuana remains popular might be that among recreational users, it is experienced as helping to relax, take away the anxiety and give in general a better quality of life. In states in America where it is legal to purchase cannabis, you can buy in marijuana dispensaries or buy weed online.
Many highly successful people make no secret of their use of Marijuana in their private lives. Let us not forget that Marijuana is known to enhance and stimulate our senses and that it contributes to creative processes in the brain, such as making music, listening to music, appreciate art in many forms.
4. Longstanding History as a Medicine
In many cultures, the use of Cannabis Sativa has been a popular medicine for hundreds, even thousands of years.
The use of Cannabis in different forms, such as drinks or food goes back to pre-Christian times, even before the European continent got populated. Here are some examples:
- In ancient Egypt, medical use goes back to the 18th-century BCE.-
- The product was known in Ancient China (anaesthetic for surgery) and became 1 of the 50 main fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.-
- Ancient India; to relieve the pain of Childbirth-
- Ancient Greece: the greeks were using the seeds in steam baths
- Medieval Islamic world; anti-epileptic and anti-inflammatory use.
While ancient physicians mixed Cannabis in their medicines to reduce pain and other ailments a long time ago, medical use in western medicine was first introduced in the 19th Century.
The real history of the Medical use of Cannabis goes back into the first great cultures and the emergence of documented medical practice.
5. Support of Medical use Will Help Cannabis to get out of the Criminal Circuit
It can be exciting to watch series like Narcos on your TV while laying on your couch. Lots of money goes around, the cartel members drive fancy cars, own luxury houses, sex and excitement are on display.
The reality, if you happen to live near the US/Mexican border the situation is less glamorous. The Mexican government is not in control and heavily armed militias terrorize the population.
A product that is forbidden by law, but at the same time is widely popular, is automatically drawn into the criminal atmosphere. In Mexico, this has escalated. The same happened in the US, in the late 1920s when the prohibition on alcohol use was introduced.
The production and the sale, as well as the consumption of alcohol, was forbidden.
Illegal production and contraband trade flourished. Taxes were not collected by the government and alcohol consumption did not go down. On the contrary, people started using alcohol in covered places, like in hidden bars, the so-called ‘speak-easies. Gang-related shootings became daily news. Does this ring a bell?
Once the ban was finally lifted, the use of alcohol was regulated and today nobody contests the fact that alcohol consumption is a fact of modern life, contributing to the social cohesion of modern society.
Beer companies are thriving and are often well-known brands that help to sustain events and sports games. Who does not want to watch the yearly Super Bowl? There is, of course, a strong cultural link.
In the Islamic world, alcohol is still a forbidden product, due to religious rules, but it is a public secret that there is a lot of secret consumption.
At the same time, the use of cannabis products is condoned in most Islamis countries, as it is not subject to a religious decree, or mentioned as such in the Koran. In many cultures, the use of Cannabis is part of the culture. In South-East Asia, in the Middle East, Cannabis was, and is still part of daily life as a medicine.
In the 19th Century, Colonialism brought a ban on the use of these products and imposed Western Style legislation.
We have to regulate and control the use of Cannabis and encourage the development of more Medicines based on its substances. Legislation should adapt to the cultural reality of today and change the status of Cannabinoids from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 drug.
Once legal to use, regulation must be put in place and abuse should lead to punishment as is the case with alcohol.
It is now commonly accepted that you do not drive a car while intoxicated. Whether it is under the influence of alcohol, or any other substance, people must take up their responsibility and learn how to control their behaviour. If there is one thing the recent Corona crisis has taught us, it is to accept that freedom comes with a price; self-respect and responsibility go hand in hand.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of