The benefits of medical marijuana [column] | Local Voices | – LNP | LancasterOnline

Medical marijuana is a beneficial drug that can help save lives, and I believe it should be legalized across the United States.

Currently there are 37 states, including Pennsylvania, that allow medical marijuana. All 50 states should legalize it for medicinal use.

According to federal law, marijuana is illegal and is considered to be a Schedule 1 narcotic. Even in states where it is legal, people who possess marijuana may still be arrested, charged, prosecuted and sent to federal prison on drug-related charges.

Nevertheless, medical marijuana is a useful and efficient drug for sick people.

Medical marijuana can be used to address many problems patients have. The most common use for the drug is for pain control.

According to Harvard Health, patients report many benefits from cannabidiol, or CBD — the second-most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis. That includes relieving illnesses and symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, spasticity and pain. It can also treat potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy. Dravet syndrome, a form of childhood epilepsy, is almost impossible to treat, but responds dramatically to a CBD-dominant brand called Charlotte’s Web.

CBD is also effective for treating chronic pain that troubles millions of Americans and is also used to manage nausea and weight loss.

Marijuana, according to the website Verywell Health, is a safer drug than others. Opioids are highly addictive and are typically not recommended for long-term use in treating chronic pain. Medical marijuana is a less addictive drug and is almost impossible to overdose on.

Marijuana can also take the place of Aleve or Advil if people cannot take those medications because of difficulties with their kidneys, ulcers or other conditions, Harvard Health notes.

According to Verywell Health, medical marijuana can help to treat appetite loss associated with conditions like HIV or AIDS and certain types of cancers. The drug is effective in helping nausea resulting from chemotherapy.

Marijuana is a natural medicinal agent with proven results. Medical marijuana eases the pain of multiple sclerosis and nerve pain, according to Harvard Health. It is also extremely helpful with relaxing muscles. Marijuana assists veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who are returning from war or combat zones, as well as patients with syndromes associated with Crohn’s disease.

Research and patient feedback make it clear that legalizing medical marijuana at the federal level is necessary for society.

Logan Scolnick is in the ninth grade at Manheim Township High School.

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