For better understanding about marijuana, I can provide a few facts below in answer to some common questions:
Does marijuana provide any health benefits?
Yes: Your body already makes marijuana-like chemicals that affect pain, inflammation, and many other processes. Marijuana can sometimes help those natural chemicals work better. Moreover, it reduces intraocular pressure and because of this fact, it is recommended in treating glaucoma (excessive pressure in the eyes). The anti-spastic and anti-convulsive properties are indicated in some cases of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and various muscular spasms. In individuals afflicted with cancer, cannabis (and especially the oil in cannabis) leads to the loss of states of dizziness, nausea and vomiting which are specific to chemotherapy. For patients suffering from AIDS and hepatitis, marijuana helps with regaining weight through increasing appetite and reducing states of nausea and vomiting.
Because of its properties and effects, but less certain, marijuana can be helpful on occasion in treating several other conditions like insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, neuralgias, rheumatism, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and ulcers.
How can Marijuana be Given for Medical Purposes?
Marijuana may be:
- Vaporized (heated until active ingredients are released, but no smoke is formed)
- Eaten (usually in the form of cookies or candy)
- Taken as a liquid extract
Are there Side Effects?
Side effects of marijuana that usually don’t last long can include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Any of the above can impair operation of an automobile
- More serious side effects include severe anxiety and psychosis
What are the Risks and Limits?
What are the Risks and Limits?Medical marijuana is not monitored like FDA-approved medicines. Uncertainties include its potential to cause cancer, its purity, potency, or side effects.
Only a physician can prescribe medical marijuana. Doctors will not prescribe medical marijuana to anyone under 18. Others who should not use it include those who have heart disease, pregnant women, and anyone with a history of psychosis.
Does Legalization of Medical Marijuana Increase its Recreational Use?
Legalizing medicinal marijuana does not inevitably lead to a higher rate of consumption, according to a US study published in “The Lancet Psychiatry”.
For the study, researchers at Columbia University in New York analyzed data taken over 24 years and in 48 US states. In the 21 states where medicinal marijuana was legalized, the scientists focused on drug use of teenagers between 13 and 18 years old.
The rate of marijuana consumption did not rise as a result of medical legalization. Analyzing the data according to certain factors (education, origin, gender, etc.) did not influence the results. The authors concluded that there is no indication that people consume more recreational marijuana after medical legalization.
Does Indiana Allow for Medical Use?
No. But two Democrats — one in the Senate and one in the House — have introduced bills that would allow the use of medical marijuana in Indiana.
Senate Bill 284, by Sen. Karen Tallian, and House Bill 1487, by Rep. Sue Errington, would allow people with a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana for medical purposes.
Tallian’s bill would create the Department of Marijuana Enforcement, or DOME, which would oversee a program for those who use marijuana for treatment. The Democrat from Portage has long fought for legalization of marijuana in Indiana, but her efforts have failed. She has introduced bills that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Two bills Tallian wrote the past two years died without a hearing.
In an earlier interview with The Indianapolis Star, Tallian said she hoped a more narrowly defined bill focusing on people with certain medical conditions would gain more support in Indiana.
Errington, of Muncie, is advocating for medical marijuana use after hearing from constituents who are suffering from chronic pain and seizures, according to a news release. HB 1487 defines a “qualifying patient” as someone who has a written recommendation from a physician to use cannabis. Under Errington’s bill, people with medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and others could use cannabis for treatment.
But experts have said that the chances of a Republican-controlled legislature legalizing medical marijuana are pretty slim, and that Indiana likely would be one of the last states to act.
Could Indiana’s backwardness in this issue relate—directly or indirectly—to the ongoing clash between religious and public freedom?