Positive Effects of Medical Marijuana: A Real Life Story
Medical Marijuana is taking America by storm in the twenty-first century. Now, people are buying and using the drug for positive reasons; such as alleviating chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, cancer pain, hypertension, and even chronic headaches. America has always maintained the negative view of medical marijuana; stating it is a gateway to using more serious drugs such as cocaine or heroin. In addition, it is argued that there are no positive effects on the human body. Recent studies have shown that to be an untruth. Studies have shown more individuals easily being able to come off of highly addictive opioid pain killers and simply use marijuana for chronic pain or other illnesses/ diseases.
This is Larry Smith, a retired police officer from South Dakota. He has been suffering with Parkinson’s disease for upward of 20 years. During that time period he tried and failed numerous medications in attempt to subside the effects of the Parkinson’s, such as his chronic dyskinesia, he never saw any results. After the initial disappointment of each medication, he needed to explore more options. Since he is a retired police officer, ethically, he was not excited about his final option, medical marijuana. With medical marijuana being his last resort he was skeptical of the legal ramifications, but at this point in his disease process he was willing to try anything for relief. Both Larry and his wife traveled to California to see a doctor and initiate the therapy. There is a common misconception about medical marijuana. The majority of the population assume that marijuana can only be consumed via inhalation, arguing that it will cause worse health conditions such as lung cancer. However, medical marijuana consumption is not limited to inhalation; it can be ingested in a liquid form cannabis oil, as well as rubbed on your body as an ointment or simply taken orally as a drink or shake. In Larry Smith’s case, he found that the cannabis oil had the most positive effect on him. As stated before Mr. Smith suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which exacerbates his chronic dyskinesia; which is defined as involuntary movements of the body. As shown in the documentary, Ride with Larry, a short film that documented his long journey with Parkinson’s disease. The use of medical marijuana helped him to participate in a 300 mile bike ride across South Dakota. Five minutes after his first dose of medical marijuana his dyskinesia subsided and his body movements were controlled. He was even able to speak without hesitation. Even after thousands of dollars’ worth of anti-seizure medications he was never able to see this kind of change in his motor skills and cognitive impairment. He finally felt good. Now comes the hard part; he does not live in a medical marijuana legal state. Therefore, he is unable to continue therapy.
The major pharmaceutical companies and the government want patients to continue taking big named opioid drugs in order for their personal businesses to continue funding. The pharmaceutical companies and the government are not willing to give medical marijuana a chance because it interferes with their income drastically, even though the already participating legal states have increased state wide revenue. They simply will not look at the facts. Medical marijuana has numerous therapeutic effects that need to be addressed and not just the so-called “addictive” qualities. This drug can stand the chance to help millions of people which chronic illnesses across the United States and at a fraction of the cost pharmaceutical companies charge for the corresponding pills. Why is it that the deep pockets of the pharmaceutical companies and the government outweigh the benefits of improving the lives of Americans who suffer daily with chronic pain or terminal diseases?