Medical cannabis-use elicits debate across the country. The stakeholders in support of medical marijuana include patients, clinicians, pharmaceutical industry, and nurses (Andreae et al., 2016). Patients with adverse diseases experience severe symptoms that can be alleviated by medical cannabis. Clinicians and nurses believe that cannabinoid drugs can resolve pain, vomiting, nausea, anxiety, and appetite stimulation. The pharmaceutical industry supports medical marijuana because the approval of the drug presents a business opportunity. However, the federal and some state governments classify the drug as Schedule 1 because it has the potential for dependency (Andreae et al., 2016). Furthermore, religious groups believe that marijuana legalization may lead to misuse of the drug, hence corroding the moral structure of the society.
The current research regarding medical marijuana indicates that the drug can be used safely and effectively used to improve the quality of life for patients. After evaluating the therapeutic impacts of cannabis, the Institute of Medicine indicated that the drug had significant therapeutic value due to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2019). However, their report cautioned against the use of smoked cannabis because it introduces harmful substances into the patient's body. Studies have found positive impacts of medical marijuana on adverse effects of glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2019). As such, there is a need to perform further research to support the effective and ethical use of the drug.
Over the years, individual states have legalized medical marijuana regardless of the federal statute that prohibits it. Currently, thirty-three states have a comprehensive medical cannabis program, while thirteen states allow limited use of the drug (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2019). The trend shows that policies and laws will continue to improve the availability of the drug across the country. Such acceptance across the board may influence the federal government to review its current opposition to marijuana legalization. Moreover, new policies and laws will guide nursing practice in advising and prescribing the drug effectively and safely; without skepticism associated with the current criminalization. Ultimately, future practice is likely to improve as patients access effective, safe, and ethical cannabis.
Andreae et al. (2016). Stakeholders' views on barriers to research on controversial controlled substances. The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 27(4), 308-321.
National Conference of State Legislatures. (2019). State medical marijuana laws. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx. L
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When it comes to the debate on whether cannabis should be legalized as medicine or not, it affects different stakeholders such as drug dealers, medical practitioners, law enforcement. It also affects the students and citizens in general (Compton,2017). The legalization of Cannabis has a positive impact on citizens since it can cure different diseases. In the case whereby the patients misuse cannabis by overdosing so that they may feel different than that harms their health. In the case of medical practitioners, the legalization of the use of cannabis would have a positive impact since they can conduct research and use the drug appropriately to cure different diseases. In the case of drug dealers, the legalization of cannabis will harm their illegal business since if cannabis can easily be accessed it means the price will go down leading to low income and they lose customers (Unger, 2016). For law enforcement, there is a mixed reaction since they understand both the advantage and disadvantages of cannabis. Though most law enforcers agree that if legalized few people would be abusing the drug.
The medical research shows that there is increased use of cannabis since it has several benefits in terms of improving the health of people. Cannabis helps in stopping the growth of cancer cells in the patient's body, it also helps in preventing growth in the lungs and brain. It helps in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease which mainly affects older adults (Compton, 2017). It helps in reducing anxiety among high smokers preventing them from being paranoid. Cannabis helps in the treatment of glaucoma preventing the affected from poor vision and blindness. It also helps in the treatment of arthritis by reducing the pain and inflammation among the affected patients.
Different policies were implemented to cope with the increased use of cannabis. The policies include; implementation of medical cannabis law which ensured that cannabis is strictly used by the affected patients only (Unger, 2016). The policies involve the prohibition of use and possession of cannabis so to assist in reducing the rate at which the drug is consumed especially among the youths.
Compton, W. M., Han, B., Hughes, A., Jones, C. M., & Blanco, C. (2017). Use of marijuana for medical purposes among adults in the United States. Jama, 317(2), 209-211.
Unger, J. B., Soto, D. W., & Leventhal, A. (2016). E-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette and marijuana use among Hispanic young adults. Drug and alcohol dependence, 16. Y