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Marijuana and Medical Use

Illicit Drugs: Should Marijuana Be Made Available For Medical Use?

Although drug use has been part of American life since the 19th century, it did not come into great prominence until the 1960s. At that time, the use of LSD, marijuana, and a variety of hard drugs became associated with the young and the disaffected. Throughout the 1970s, the use of illicit drugs continued to increase; among young people it became a form of protest and defiance. By the 1980s, drug use was part of the mainstream of American life. As drugs gained more widespread acceptance, so too spread the damage wrought by their effects. The costsboth in terms human suffering and economic lossare incalculable. Still, however, there are some who call for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the drug may be useful for treating patients with certain medical disorders. Unfortunately, there are very few wellcontrolled studies that document either marijuana smoking's risks or benefits. Said Steve Karch, M.D., editor of the Forensic Drug Abuse Advisor, "The really striking thing about marijuana research is its poor quality." Regardless though, for terminally ill patients, the alleviation of suffering should a main priority. For such patients, marijuana might be made available.

The disruption of American life due to trafficking in illegal drugs has been enormous; it has affected small towns as well as large metropolitan areas. Millions have become chemically dependent. Furthermore, the use of drugs often leads to addiction, which in turn leads to high rates of debilitating illness, crime, and even death. Despite the "war on drugs" waged by both the Reagan and Bush administrations, chemical addiction remains a very serious problema problem that some say is eroding the very foundations of the nation. Perhaps even worse than the violence and ruined lives of the traffickers and the sever...

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Marijuana and Medical Use. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:38, May 20, 2019, from