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Legalizing Marijuana Would Help Patients


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Editor, the Tribune: I attend Baker University School of Nursing. Laws against medical marijuana and the rigmarole lobbyists have dealt with baffle me, yet it has become even more compelling since I began my nursing endeavors.

A primary responsibility of nurses is to ensure their patients' pain is minimized or eliminated. Why should we or the government deny those chronically and terminally ill patients any treatment they desire to minimize their agony? Medical marijuana should be changed from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule II substance, authorizing physicians to prescribe the drug in certain medical situations. Marijuana has several therapeutic uses. Many patients have testified to the effectiveness of smoked and ingested marijuana to increase their appetite, reduce nausea and pain and decrease intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma.

Because of how cheap it is to grow, it would be more affordable and obtainable by patients in need, not to mention legalization would lead to tremendous local, state and federal profits because of taxation. The government is spending an inordinate amount of money on maintaining marijuana's illegality and by incarcerating patients who use it when they could be capitalizing on its sales tax. It's a fact marijuana is safer than many of the medications prescribed on a daily basis. Downgrading the schedule seems like a no-brainer, but the federal government is enforcing such strict implementations of the studies of medical marijuana that the progress of its legalization is stagnant. A change needs to be made with our generation.

Sharrod Greene
16 E. Phyllis Ave.

NewsHawk: MedicalNeed: 420 MAGAZINE
Author: Sharrod Greene
Source: columbiatribune.com
Copyright: 2011 The Columbia Daily Tribune
Contact: Newsroom Staff Directory
Website: Legalizing marijuana would help patients - Commentary
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