The Legalization Of Marijuana

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The national effects following the legalization of marijuana’s approved use in 28 states and the District of Columbia, has rocked our culture in the United States. Persons who suffer severe or debilitating health conditions such as glaucoma, seizures, cancer, and chronic pain have found some relief with prescribed doses of medicinal marijuana. State laws may vary, but either patients are allowed to possess a set amount of plants, a low amount of ounces for personal use, or non-smokable marijuana. Prescription marijuana is cultivated to have less amounts of the chemical components that induce euphoria, and is grown to emphasize properties of the plant that treat disease. Legalization of marijuana for treatment of health conditions has been a boon to the economy and has created ripples in laws, creating national effects.

The marijuana plant has been recorded for prescribed medicinal use and treatment as early as 2737 B.C. in human history. According to Mitch Earlywine, a Psychology professor at the State University of New York at Albany, Shen Neng, a Chinese emperor supported cannabis tea as a medicine for complications such as poor memory, gout, malaria, and even rheumatism. Medicinal cannabis has been used in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In India, certain Hindu sects used medical marijuana for stress relief and treating pain. Irish doctor William O’Shaughnessy, made the use of marijuana very popular in England and in America, after noting its health effects. The FDA is responsible for classifying marijuana as a controlled substance.

Marijuana has positive side effects like creating a relaxed mood, and inducing an appetite in patients suffering health-related weight loss. Using large doses of marijuana may cause paranoia or hallucinations, in addition to having a short-term memory. Patients prescribed marijuana may be encouraged to use a vaporizer over smoking the medicine, as some believe smoking marijuana can exacerbate respiratory problems or create lung irritation.

Edibles are one of the more popular forms that prescribed marijuana is taken internally by patients. Marijuana can be ingested by patients via cooked foods, cookies, or consumed within a beverage such as a green smoothie or tea. Patients can take a concentrated pill or extract form of marijuana created for their treatment. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Since then, not only has medicinal marijuana been legalized for patient use within 28 U.S. States and D.C., but recreational amounts of the controlled substance has been decriminalized as well. Dispensaries distribute marijuana to approved patients who have been given a doctor’s authorization to be able to grow their own medicinal marijuana for personal treatment, or receive their prescribed allotment of the medication as needed.

There is some controversy over medical marijuana, concerning the dispensing of the substance to kids, even if it is in the form of drops or edibles. “Charlotte’s Webb” is a strain of marijuana grown for medicinal use with child patients in mind, as it has very little THC, but still contains cannabinoids to treat symptoms like epilepsy, seizures, or chronic pain.

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