One of the main reasons our group has chosen a pro-legalization stance on marijuana in the United States is because it has the potential to reap widespread health benefits. The particular manner in which marijuana affects the Autonomic Nervous System (extends breath & relaxes the body) enhances general health and functions as a healing mechanism. Although the 1936 film “Reefer Madness” linked marijuana with insanity and violent behaviors, the cannabis plant maintains a well established history of medical applications; and has been cited as one of the fundamental herbs of traditional Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Grecian, East Asian, and Islamic medicine.
Responsible marijuana consumption has been proven to treat migraines, slow tumor growth, relieve symptoms of chronic diseases, prevents Alzheimer’s, treats glaucoma, prevents seizures, helps those with ADD & ADHD, treats Multiple Sclerosis, helps relieve PMS, helps calm those with Tourette’s & OCD amongst a host of other positive health benefits. Also, marijuana was found to be a powerful analgesic in a study conducted by the University of Oxford. Doctors found that the brain on THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) showed reduced response to pain, suggesting that the drug helped patients to effectively endure pain.
In 1988, Francis Young, a judge for the Drug Enforcement Administration, was asked to review evidence regarding the potential health benefits of marijuana. He concluded that marijuana was one of the “safest therapeutically active substances known to man”. Additionally, the various ways of using marijuana medically (be it smoking, inhaling, or ingesting via edibles) provides different methods for individual users. It has also been found that medical marijuana poses significantly fewer severe side effects than other forms of more traditional medications.
Given that marijuana possesses at least 80 cannabinoids (basic units for medical applications), it is safe to say that the United States has yet to realize the full extent to which marijuana can positively affect health. Hopefully, once the true health benefits of marijuana become more well-known amongst the public, more people in the United States will become more supportive of pro-legalization efforts.