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Medical Uses and Dangers of Marijuana - Research Paper Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Medical Marijuana Pros and Cons A great deal of debate has centered on the use of marijuana as a means of treating a variety of medical conditions; most notably with regards to terminally ill patients that are working to deal with a host of pain management problems…
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Medical Uses and Dangers of Marijuana

benefits and side effects. Although marijuana is not unique in that its implementation has both a series of side effects and benefits, this analysis will attempt to categorize this, discuss their nature, and draw inference as to the overall balance sheet with regards to whether medical marijuana is worthy of continuing to be used as a drug due to the preponderance of its inherent benefits or should be discontinued as a drug/treatment as a function of the risk it poses to the individual. First and foremost, the analysis will need to consider the question of what specific disease is attempted to be treated with marijuana. This issue is central to a full and nuanced understanding due to the fact that medical marijuana basically breaks down into two subgroups (Gold 29). The first of these is concentric upon how the drug can assist terminally ill patients in reducing the overall level of pain they experience before eventually succumbing to a known disease. Secondly, medical marijuana has been known to be used to assist those patients who are not necessarily predisposed to death in that it has been used to treat patients with glaucoma and those patients who are undergoing heavy doses of chemotherapy/radiation. ...
These include but are in no way limited to the following: lip cancer, tongue cancer, cheek cancer, esophageal cancer, and lung cancer but to name a few (Cohen 655). Similarly, it has been proven that smoking marijuana also demonstrably weakens the body’s immune system. This is of vital importance to many individuals who will be taking it to assist in providing them with a means to survive a given illness or extreme situation that requires such a method. In this way, the individual is likely to prolong the amount of time that they are suffering from an illness due to the fact that the prolonged use of marijuana has a negative effect on the total white blood cell count and the body’s inherent ability to fight off infection. In addition to the increased risk of a litany of cancers, the user is also at a highly increased risk of respiratory illness due to the fact that inhaling the smoke from even 1 joint per day can noticeably affect the bronchial linings in the air way which serve to protect the individual from a host of airborne viruses. Additionally, as many people are well aware, the amount of tar in a single cigarette is itself one of the most harmful factors of smoking as it is this specific action that causes a plaque like buildup to form within the lungs of the user over time (Earlywine et al 234). A little known fact is that a single joint contains 4 times the level of tar as a single cigarette. In this way, the individual can see that even smoking a single joint per day is the equivalent of smoking 4 cigarettes with respect to the overall level of tar and the negative health effects that this portends for the user. As well as ... Read More
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