Imagine a country where humans have to take a great number of pills and therapy sessions in order to help cope with certain diseases such as HIV, Alzheimer’s, cancer, opiate addiction, depression, anxiety, ADHD, epilepsy, Tourette’s. Well, this is the country we live in. There is a simple solution to cut down on a lot of the pills consumed in the U.S, but that solution is considered a schedule one drug, and its name is marijuana.
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While traditional painkiller drugs can be effective, they also come with the downside of a high risk of addiction and dependence and can be dangerous or even fatal when administered in excessive amounts. Cannabis offers similar health benefits, with a less significant risk of substance abuse and consequent health issues. Now that more and more states in the U.S are successfully legalizing weed, others states are beginning to wonder if they can do the same. A lot are forgetting the major argument in favor of marijuana legalization is the health benefits. Even though weed is a schedule one drug the benefits from it are outstanding and has been an aid for medical purposes for hundreds of years. Some diseases such as depression, anxiety and ADHD, opiate addiction, cancer cells, and Alzheimer’s have been shown to slow down or cease to exist in one’s body from the medical use of marijuana.
For the most part, it’s widely known marijuana has been used all over the world for centuries and the oldest evidence of its use goes back to “the ancient world. There is evidence suggesting its use more than 5,000 years ago in what is now Romania, and has been described extensively and was found in forms of ashes” (Dr. Bridgeman, 2017). This is factual proof that cannabis has been harvested and used for many centuries and the medical aspects of the plant may not have been greatly known back then, but surely was known to be magical. In parts of the world like China, Japan, India, and Africa marijuana has become a big part of the culture. Unlike the United States, these countries discovered the medical greatness of this plant early on and continue to use it for medical and recreational use to this day. Some reasons those countries used the plant was to aid or alleviate pain and treat various conditions, to treat different illnesses like gout, rheumatism, malaria, and poor memory. Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence says in most cases in “olden times marijuana was used to numb or dull the pain along with the mixture of wine and has been known in the eastern cultures to be a great anesthetic” This goes to show humanity has discovered some of this plants medical uses, but it’s still illegal. Not only has marijuana been used in other countries, but also for a very long time.
Cannabis also been said about two thousand years before Christ to present day India has had a strong bond with cannabis use medicinally, religiously, recreationally, and spiritually. For example, one popular use of cannabis here is in mixed drinks. These special drinks are consumed for both enjoyment and medical reasons. The most popular drink, according to medicaldaily.com is called the “bhang” ( Lecia Bushak, 2016). This special drink is a mix of cannabis paste, which is made from the entire pant, milk, butter, and spices. Some medical properties that come from this ancient beverage were reduced anxiety, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and relax tight muscles in people. Besides as a cure for fever, bhang has more medicinal aspects. “It cures bowel issues and heatstroke, clears mucus, quickens digestion, sharpens appetite, makes the tongue of the lisper plain, freshens the intellect, and gives alertness to the body and gaiety to the mind” ( Lecia Bushak, 2016). It obvious at this time there was undoubtedly little scientific evidence behind the medical use of weed, but the stories and creations from cannabis proves that the drug had been largely integrated in medical use in India for a very long time.
Throughout the Middle Ages in the eastern countries, the use of marijuana may not have been a religious practice like it was in India, but it was still integrated to the general public as medicine. Healers or doctors used cannabis to treat tumors, cough, and liver disease. Although the use of this plant was a common practice, medieval physicians and herbalists still warned patients using cannabis too much can lead to the invitation to other diseases or other damaging physical states. Fast forwarding into more modern times cannabis was introduced to South America by Spain and was used primary for practical items such as hemp for clothing and rope during the the early 1900s. With the growing popularity of recreational cannabis use the government decided to put an end to marijuana because people who smoked it were saw as lower class and criminals, so in 1914 a bill was passed under the Harrison Act that officially declared weed a crime. Since slavery was still a dominant form of labor, that is how it was cultivated in mass productions and was not used as a psychoactive drug until the mid 1930s. “Mexican immigrants entering the U.S. introduced cannabis to the country and the word marijuana itself likely originated in Mexico, popularizing the recreational use of the drug more. However, many Americans saw those who smoked weed as debaucherous and troublesome, associating cannabis with lower class criminality.” (Lecia Bushak, 2016). The reason why the white majority thought this way was mexicans were thought to be rapits and with ciomialistic behvior because they want to have children in the united states and steal jobs from U.S citizens. By the end of the 1930s 23 states have outlawed marijuana. The government also passed the Marihuana Tax Act, making the use of non-medical cannabis use illegal. Marijuana was still used in various medical treatments, but in controlled forms. By the 1970s marijuana was categorized as a Schedule I drug along with more dangerous ones, and was listed as having no accepted medical use. Despite the fact that some early American medical journals had begun listing the medical uses of cannabis, the government restricted any further research into it until more recently. Now that the tight grip on cannabis is loosening some research found that its use can slow or possibly stop the spread of HIV throughout the body.
Marijuana has long been used to effectively treat symptoms associated with HIV, such as chronic pain and weight loss. Adding to these findings is a Louisiana State University study published a journal called AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. “This case study lasted about 17 months, scientists administered a daily dose of THC, an active ingredient in cannabis, to monkeys infected with an animal form of the virus. Over the course of that period, scientists found that damage to immune tissue in the primates’ stomachs, one of the most common areas in the body for HIV infection to spread, decreased.” (Eileen Shim, 2014) Since the legalization of marijuana the amount of studies being conducted to slow or even treat diseases like HIV, aids and many others has boomed. The results have of these case studies have been phenomenal and has created a big push to see what other boundaries this drug can break in the name of medical science. Fortunately, this effort is already in affect because researchers at other universities in the United States have also found some interesting results with the progression of alzheimer’s.
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