Criminal Justice Research Paper
The American Medical Marijuana Revolution
There two main philosophical issues in regards to medical cannabis. The first is the issue of rescheduling the drug from a schedule I drug to a schedule II drug in essence legalizing it on the Federal level so that more research can be done to determine its medicinal purposes and safety. Medical marijuana is any part of the marijuana plant that you use to treat health problems. People use it to get relief from their symptoms, not to try to get high.
Most marijuana that’s sold legally as medicine has the same ingredients as the kind that people use for pleasure. But some medical marijuana is specially grown to have less of the chemicals that cause feelings of euphoria. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
In the debate over medical marijuana, the primary justification advanced by its supporters is that marijuana use, especially by terminally ill patients, mitigates their “suffering from [unnecessary] chronic and unbearable pain that persists until death.”‘ Currently, Washington D.C. and fourteen states have approved and finalized medical marijuana statutes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Maryland and Arizona have approved legislation favorable to the use of medical marijuana, but have not legalized its use. Additionally, “New York, Illinois, Delaware, South Dakota, and Kansas” are in the process of considering medical marijuana laws. Although all patients should have the right to treatment, rights, generally, must be considered within the context of national policy.
Currently, the federal government has remained hesitant to support detailed medical research and advocacy for medical marijuana. Under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug; meaning possession of it is still illegal and may only be utilized for research purposes. As “the sole Federal agency that approves drug products as safe and effective for intended” purposes, the Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) firmly maintains that marijuana has no medicinal value. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
Consequently, the federal government has been in continuous conflict with states that have legalized medical marijuana. (Pfeifer, 2011) The next issue is determining the safety and ethical concepts of giving medical marijuana or cannabis to adolescents. Marijuana has been smoked for its medicinal properties for centuries.
Preclinical, clinical, and subjective reports suggest numerous potential medical uses for marijuana. (Taylor, 2008). Some studies suggest medical marijuana may help relieve seizures in children with hard-to-treat epilepsy.
A type of medical marijuana known as “Charlotte’s Web” may help kids without getting them high, because the strain has very little THC.
Marijuana plants have hundreds of chemicals, known as cannabinoids. The two main ones are THC and CBD. THC gives some of the pleasurable effects that pot smokers are looking for, but it also has some effects that may treat medical problems. Some research suggests that CBD may be helpful for some health issues, but it doesn’t cause you to get high. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
Cannabis has been used by man since ancient times. According to The Colombia History of the World, 1981 edition: “The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, which began to be worked in the eighth millennium B.C.” Archaeologists and historians have a rather easy time recognizing hemp.
Artifacts can be tested, and, in ancient writings, cannabis is easily recognized since it is the only known plant used for both its fiber and medicinal properties. (III, 2015) Historians generally agree that cannabis was the world’s largest agricultural crop from before 1000 B.C. until the late 1800’s A.D.
During this time period, cannabis was used for the majority of the world’s fiber, fabric, lighting oil, paper, incense, medicines, and as food for humans and animals. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
Hemp seed was regularly used in porridge, soups and gruels by most people in the world up until the 20th century. Cannabis has been used for building material, too. A bridge made of hemp herds mixed with lime dating from about 600 A.D. has been discovered in southern France. (III, 2015) Cannabis is not indigenous to the Americas.
It was first brought to the Americas by early Viking explorers, and later by Spanish European settlers. In the days of sailing ships, cannabis was a critically important crop. Since cannabis is resistant to salt and rot, the sails and rigging of these ships were made from hemp.
To give some ideas of the quantity of hemp involved, it is estimated that the USS Constitution used over 60 tons of hemp. When you consider the number of ships and the fact that sails and rigging needed to be replaced every few years, you get some idea of the importance of cannabis for shipping and military uses. Today, military power depends on oilÍ¾ Back then it depended on hemp. (III, 2015)
The marijuana plant, cannabis, contains more than 60 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. The main psychoactive element in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid, but it has no psychoactive effects. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
The concentration of THC and other cannabinoids in marijuana is highly variable, depending on growing condition, plant genetics, and processing after harvest (1). This variability in composition has hindered research on and evaluation of the drug’s medical value.
Medical cannabis has known to help with or cure diseases like AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Multiple sclerosis (MS), and many more with research. (Christensen, 2015) The delta9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) seems to cause the “high” reported by consumers of marijuana, and also can help relieve pain and nausea, reduce inflammation, and can act as an antioxidant. It can also lead to feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
Cannabidiol (CBD) can help treat seizures, can reduce anxiety and paranoia, and can counteract the “high” caused by THC. (American Cancer Society, 2015) Although THC is listed separately as a Schedule I controlled substance and hallucinogen, the Controlled Substances Act supports the production of synthetic THC, but not CBD. (Pfeifer, 2011).
People who smoke marijuana begin to feel its effects almost immediately, while those who eat it may not feel it for up to an hour. When you smoke pot, THC goes from your lungs to the bloodstream and causes your brain cells to release the chemical dopamine, leaving you feeling high.
Experts know less about how CBD works. They think it may work sometimes with THC, and sometimes on its own, to have an effect on the brain. Users smoke medical marijuana in paper-rolled cigarettes or pipes. You can also brew it into a beverage, eat it in cooked foods, or take it in pill form. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
The effects of a marijuana pill can be strong and long-lasting. This makes it hard to predict how it will affect a person. You can also inhale it through vaporizers
Medical marijuana can change your mood, making you feel happy, relaxed, sleepy, or anxious. It can also disrupt your short-term memory and decision-making ability. These side effects can last 1 to 3 hours.
Large doses of medical marijuana can make some people have hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. Research suggests that smoking marijuana can make breathing problems, like bronchitis, worse.
The FDA has approved two drugs that include ingredients also found in marijuana. Dronabinol has THC and is used to treat nausea from chemotherapy and extreme weight loss in AIDS patients. Nabilone is used for the same reasons, but it has a man-made chemical that’s similar to THC. (Cassoobhoy, 2014)
The first marijuana law in America was enacted in Jamestown colony in 1619. It ordered all farmers to grow cannabis. More mandatory hemp cultivation laws were enacted in Massachusetts (1631), Connecticut (1632), and the Chesapeake Colonies.
Meanwhile in England, the crown decreed that foreigners who grew cannabis would be rewarded with full British citizenship, while those who refused to grow hemp were often fined. Cannabis was legal tender in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800’s, mainly to encourage farmers to grow more. (III, 2015) The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 can be considered the low point for cannabis.
Today, the US has the sole remaining super hysteria concerning cannabis. Most European countries have either decriminalized it, or have simply quit enforcing such antiquated and unjust laws. (III, 2015) Marijuana was not subject to federal or state regulation until California and Utah first prohibited its possession or sale in 1915. In that same year, “The U.S. Treasury Department initially prohibited the importation of marijuana for nonmedical purposes.”
As the federal government abandoned its moral crusade against alcohol in the 1930s, the U.S. Treasury Department established the Federal Narcotics Bureau which, under the supervision of Henry Anslinger, began the fight to prohibit marijuana use. Anslinger successfully removed marijuana from the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1941. By “1951, the Boggs Act implemented mandatory prison sentences and monetary fines” for possession of marijuana.
By 1970, it was only too clear that marijuana would no longer be granted the freedom it was once afforded in American society. With the implementation of the Controlled Substances Act, Congress established five schedules into which a drug may be placed.
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive schedule out of five. By its Schedule I classification, the Attorney General has determined that marijuana “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” “has a high potential for abuse. (Pfeifer, 2011) Millennials have been fed the party line on drugs since kindergarten.
This is a generation that has been told to just say no by the friendly faces of the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, a generation whose commercial breaks have been punctuated by brains on drugs as eggs in frying pans. Since they were old enough to listen, this is a generation that has been told that drugs are bad. (Hill, 2013) This avalanche of propaganda has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism.
(This is a generation that questions authority). Millennials have confronted the billions of dollars spent on armored SWAT trucks and helicopters and bullet proof vests, the hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders languishing in crumbling prisons across the U.S. In just the past three years, the U.S. has seen a dramatic turnaround in longstanding policies and opinion concerning the country’s third most widely used drug.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution urging the federal government to respect local and state measures on marijuana. The Justice Department announced that it will not intervene in Colorado and Washington State, both of which passed measures to regulate recreational marijuana. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
The prospects for a young person convicted of a drug offense, no matter how minor, are instantly dimmed. Federal student aid ineligibility. Difficulty obtaining employment. Increased likelihood of rearrests. The personal costs are great. The societal costs are tremendous.
This is a generation that cannot dismiss the systemic discrimination and human rights abuses inextricably linked to the prosecution of the drug war. There is no sitting on the sidelines. (Hill, 2013) Lastly, several states either have not completely legalized the use of medical marijuana or are currently considering legislation. (Pfeifer, 2011)
In the pursuit of autonomy, the patient and physician’s primary focus is to protect the patient’s independent process of self-definition. Regardless of the identity that a terminally ill patient seeks to adopt or keep, autonomy requires an individual to be free from constraints including death, pain and suffering, and indignity at the end of life.
As President Obama’s administration continues to impact American culture, patients may finally gain the support they need to access legal medical marijuana. Through the collaborative efforts of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Department of Justice will seek criminal charges against medical marijuana users only when both state and federal laws have been violated. Additionally, medical marijuana clinics will be free of federal investigations provided their operations are lawful. (Pfeifer, 2011). Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
In many Western jurisdictions cannabis, unlike most other psychoactive drugs, cannot be prescribed to patients even in cases where medical professionals believe that it would ease the patient’s pain or anxiety. The reasons for this prohibition are mostly ideological, although medical and moral arguments have been formulated to support it.
In this paper, it is argued that freedom, properly understood, provides a sound ethical reason to allow the use of cannabis in medicine. Scientific facts, appeals to harm and autonomy, and considerations of symbolic value cannot consistently justify prohibitions. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
So a solution or answers are should I be free to use cannabis to alleviate my pain and anxiety? The answer, based on my individual freedom, is yes. Medical facts are too vague to overturn my informed choice, concrete harm is not inflicted on innocent third parties, and considerations of autonomy and symbolic harm cannot outweigh the suffering that can probably be removed by the drug.
My second question concerned the implications of my entitlement for medical professionals. These, too, are unambiguous. If prescribing cannabis is legally permitted, physicians should prescribe it to their patients whenever it is, in their best professional judgement, called for. If, on the other hand, the medical use of cannabis is prohibited, physicians should make it known to the political and legal authorities that the prohibition is unethical, and that it should be removed forthwith. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
The case for the free sale and use of cannabis for recreational purposes, and the case for prescribing it to suffering patients, are slightly different. As people are allowed to buy and use many dangerous substances anyway, there are strong analogical grounds for permitting the sale and use of cannabis products.
This is not, however, a sufficient argument for prescribing cannabis, as medical professionals are legitimately concerned about the wellbeing of their patients. On the other hand, the pain and anxiety experienced by the patients provide an additional reason for permitting cannabis prescriptions, although this consideration cannot be extended to non-medical contexts. Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
In conclusion, morally a healthcare professional should be able to do everything medically necessary for their patients. Medical Cannabis should be treated like any other prescription drug that has addictive traits.
Individuals should have the right to have the option as a holistic choice that can be discussed with their specialty doctor. Also a doctor should have specific training in the use and make up of medical cannabis. Politicians need to put their agendas aside and do what is best for the people.
Criminal Justice Research Paper Sample
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