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Medical Marijuana 

Medical marijuana has become a popular medical treatment for those who have cancer, but recently a handful of states passed legislation clearing it for recreational use as well as medicinal use. This has stirred a national debate over whether it should be used throughout every state. There are active medical marijuana laws in a handful of states, but the federal government still classifies the possession and use of marijuana as illegal.

There are many supporters for both sides of the argument, making it a popular national debate.

Those who are for the legalization and use of medical marijuana include members of Congress and the medical community. Marijuana is very effective at relieving the vomiting and nausea which is caused by chemotherapy. It can relieve muscle spasms which is associated with paralysis as well as multiple sclerosis. It can also help to treat appetite loss in those with certain cancers, as well as HIV/AIDS. Marijuana can relieve certain pain from those suffering chronic or acute pain. It is much safer to use than other prescription medications which treat the exact same symptoms. Studies also indicate that smoking marijuana on its own will not increase lung disease risk. It has also historically been used as a medicinal agent for centuries.

Those who are against the legalization of marijuana claim that frequent use of medical marijuana have serious side effects with regard for your short term memory. It is also claimed that frequent use of marijuana can impair cognitive ability. Smoking any substance, marijuana included, can damage lung tissue to an extent. There is not sufficient evidence for those against the legalization that it is effective in treating pain. It is also argued that it carries with it the risk of addiction and abuse. Smoking marijuana is claimed to contain cancer-causing compounds. It is also claimed to be related to a high percentage of workplace accidents and automobile crashes.

Clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness or lack thereof have been restrictive and often limited. That being said, it remains a part of the national debate whether medical marijuana should be federally legalized and no longer considered a Schedule I drug. In order to determine whether it is truly a valuable symptom management agent, further studies need to be completed using the same standards that other medications must adhere to. Until this happens the debate between whether or not it is useful and should be legalized will continue inconclusively.

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