Medical use of marijuana is positive step

Enedina Perez, Editorial Assistant
Enedina Perez, Editorial Assistant

By now, most people must be tired of hearing about all of the propositions on this year’s ballot, but there is still one that needs some recognition.

That is Proposition 215, which will “allow seriously and terminally ill patients to legally use marijuana, if they have the approval of a licensed physician.”

It will also allow these people to grow and possess marijuana, as well as free physicians from punishment for recommending the use of marijuana for medical treatment.

While there are certain arguments against this proposition, it is important for people to realize that it is a good measure with positive intentions.

Marijuana, which was researched by university doctors, was found to be effective when it came to providing relief from a variety of illnesses, such as cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis and migraine headaches, among others.

Many physicians and nurses have already witnessed the benefits from marijuana, and for this reason they feel strongly about the importance of this proposition being passed.

A Harvard University survey found that “almost one-half of cancer doctors surveyed would prescribe marijuana to some of their patients if it were legal.”

Knowing this information from credible physicians, does the proposition not seem fairly significant?

An argument brought forth by supporters of the proposition is the fact that “physicians today, are allowed to prescribe powerful drugs like morphine and codeine, and it does not make any sense that they can not prescribe marijuana too.”

Although there are many individuals who use marijuana illegally, this proposition will only help those who need it solely for medical purposes, by permitting them to use marijuana legally.

This proposition is not intended to allow “unlimited quantities of marijuana to be grown anywhere,” the practice of marijuana in public areas or the rise of marijuana use among children, as argued by those against this proposition.

On the contrary, Proposition 215 only allows marijuana to be grown for a patient’s personal use.

According to San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, “Police officers can still arrest anyone who grows too much, or tries to sell it.”

Recreational use will still be against the law.

Hallinan also said, “Proposition 215 does not give kids the OK to use marijuana either. It simply gives those arrested a defense in court, if they can prove they used marijuana with a doctor’s approval.”

From this information, it can be seen that Proposition 215 is not as bad as it seems. It will not create chaos, but instead provide a new method of pain relief for those people who suffer from serious illnesses.

This proposition can really make a positive difference in many people’s lives.

If this proposition were not to pass, what are officials really saying? Could it mean that if, in the near future, physicians find a cure for a deadly disease and it may so happen that it is an illegal drug, the patients will not be able to use it because it may be illegal to acquire the drug?

It really should not come to this. If medical figures have the power to save people’s lives, or keep them from experiencing unbearable pain, they should be able to prescribe it to these patients.

Even though illegal marijuana use will still continue whether or not Proposition 215 is approved, why not give it a chance and allow those in medical need the right to use it without being punished?

Enedina Perez, a junior journalism major, is editorial assistant of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at pereze@ulvacs.ulaverne.edu.

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