The controversy of legalizing marijuana as a medical alternative is continually jeopardizing the well being of individuals who are of genuine need of it. Medical marijuana has been scientifically proven to reduce pain in patients suffering from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and pain associated with certain cancers and AIDS treatments, yet these patient’s genuine benefits have been denied due to prohibition by the opponents who unjustifiably claim that marijuana is harmful to both the users and to society in general. Because of this opposition there is clearly not enough medical marijuana legally available to satisfy the millions of patients who could potentially benefit from its therapeutic properties. Patients are suffering, literally losing hope and in many cases dying without any dignity, some by suicide, as their overwhelming pain is too much to bear. Mainstream media has played a significant role in influencing the public’s negative perception of marijuana, because it has the power to decide what to report on and how they will report on it. This power allows the news media to influence what the general population deems important, and in return sets the agenda for thought and discussion. Unless there’s a shift in the mainstream media’s agenda, the resolution of the medical marijuana controversy will continue.
In closing, it is my belief that legalizing marijuana will not only immediately benefit patients suffering from pain, and reduce preventable pain related suicides, although will also permit the continual advancement of medical marijuana research which could lead to many other medical benefits to form a more productive society through its positive uses.
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