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Medical Marijuana

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Legalization of marijuana is one of the most controversial topics in American society today. Surveys done by the US Government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive showed that 95 million Americans have used marijuana. There are many reasons for wanting to understand what science has so far revealed, as what is still to be uncovered, about marijuana's medical potential. Some believe that marijuana has the potential to improve the quality of life for people with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases. The legalization of marijuana has the potential to improve quality of life, as well as, provide a safe alternative for the treatment of many diseases.

The medical community continues to expand the ability to handle life-threatening illnesses and prolong life. With that ability, comes an extension of the treatments that patients must undergo. Many patients today refuse medical treatment that may save or prolong their life out of a desire to avoid the unpleasant side effects associated with the treatment. In recent years it has been discovered that the use of Marijuana alleviates several symptoms associated with cancer and AIDS treatments and disorders. The patients are currently forced to choose between breaking the law to reduce symptoms, or suffering life-changing symptoms ever breaking the law. The conditions of AIDS and cancer are life threatening, and many are not going to survive its attack. Medicinal marijuana should be legalized so that those who already suffer the disadvantage of disease will not also be forced to suffer treatment symptoms that are easily corrected.

As we continue to debate the uses and effects of marijuana as a medicinal treatment, many thousands of people are suffering from debilitating disorders that can be life threatening. In addition, the quality of life for many patients denied the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes suffers. Lately, there has been much discussion about the right to die. Millions of Americans have voiced support in a patient's right to die if their quality of life promises to be substandard due to a disease or disorder. We look ourselves in the mirror every morning and believe we should be able to choose to go, based on the suffering or quality of life issues we will endure otherwise. Yet, these same people are quick to ban the use of marijuana as a medicine. The ironic thing is many of the same diseases and disorders in which the right to use marijuana affects are the same diseases and disorders in which we believe a patient has a right to die from. How is it that a nation can endorse the self destruction, suicide, turning off machines or "letting go " when the end result is the knowledgeable killing of a human being; yet refuse to allow those same patients the right to smoke a joint to alleviate symptoms?

Since marijuana's first recorded use dating back five thousand years ago, it has never gained much



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