The dispute over the advantages and disadvantages of medical cannabis continues to linger on even today. This is also though the plant in question has been used all over the world for close to 5000 years, maybe more.
In Australia, trying to keep track of cannabis laws and regulations is much like watching an intense cricket match — the ball never stops moving.
The different sides of the argument over medical marijuana
Proponents of the legal use of marijuana for medical functions declare that it can provide relief for those suffering from severe persistent conditions like glaucoma and nausea that typically accompanies chemotherapy treatments.
States that have legislated medicinal cannabis usage have mandated several health conditions where medical cannabis in Australia is considered appropriate. Medical issues where cannabis is thought valuable for symptom relief include cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS.
Those who oppose using marijuana for restorative or medicinal reasons note several reasons. Most importantly, it is still classified as a Class 1 controlled substance under federal laws. Drugs classified as Arrange 1 consist of heroin and LSD and as such, are considered to have no medicinal value. Opponents likewise think that for each disorder that medical cannabis may help, there are legal FDA authorized products offered that do the same.
What does the medical community have to say?
Numerous medical and scientific studies have been conducted on medical marijuana. Here once again, physicians and scientists are divided relating to whether or not this drug has actual therapeutic value. Many believe that marijuana needs to be offered as an option to those struggling with severe medical concerns who do not react well to pharmaceutical alternatives.
On the con side, cannabis does include several chemicals beyond THC, and everyone is familiar with the dangers of cigarette smoking when it comes to cardiopulmonary problems.
Administration of medical cannabis is deemed safest through vaporization as it yields fewer side effects compared to smoking or directly consuming cannabis. This is because vaporization mitigates the risk of taking in large amounts of the drug at any given time.
Among the unfavourable impacts of medical marijuana are seen as psycho-physiologic manifestations:
- Boosts heart rate which makes it dangerous for people with cardiovascular disease
- Distorted cognitive functions and comprehension skills
- Impaired thinking and judgement
Despite the risks, more people are becoming amenable to legalizing medical cannabis. A random poll of 1,000 people conducted in April 2010 by the Associated Press yielded the following results:
- 60% prefer legal possession when medically approved
- 12% were neutral
- 28% opposed any legal use and ownership.
For those opposed to the idea, the concern was if doctors need to or must not be allowed to recommend marijuana for their patients. Only 18% opposed physicians writing prescriptions for marijuana, while 81% believed they need the authorization to do so. While the concern continues to be fiercely debated, it does appear that legalizing cannabis for some medical uses is quietly acquiring support around the world.