Whether or not to legalize marijuana for medical purposes has been one of the most controversial topics discussed nationwide. And the society seems to be divided into two groups of people holding different opinions. While some believe the cannabis should be legalized for its medical beneficial capabilities. Others argue that it also has potential to cause other medical as well as social problems, and therefore should be kept illegal.
Within the two groups of people who hold opposite views against each other as mentioned above, there are many scientists who study the cannabis and the endocannabinoid system and conduct various researches on them. In the article “Endocannabinoid system and psychiatry: in search of a neurobiological basis for detrimental and potential therapeutic effects” Dr. Marco and her colleagues focused on the therapeutic effects of the cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which are the two major components of one of the most popular recreational drugs, cannabis, on mood disorders, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Although, their research successfully yielded promising findings in rodent models, as any other drug, they had also found a correlation between the cannabis usage and higher possibility of triggering the genetic predisposition to schizophrenia. But this only suggests that further researches on this type of topic are needed, and the findings of Dr. Marco and her group opened up the possibility of the application of cannabis, especially THC, CBD, in psychiatry. As more and more studies have been done on the cannabis, this forbidden medicine has become less and less mystic, and hopefully could be used to improve many people’s quality of life.
While we are discussing the application of the cannabis in medicine, I decided to do a little bit of research on the cannabis on the internet. Interestingly, I found out that the usage of cannabis in medicine has been a long tradition in human history before it was used as a recreational drug. It had been recorded in the “Shennong Ben Cao Jing”, which is a Chinese medicine book written around 300BC to 200 AD. And then was widely used as Chinese medicine around the 16th century.
Growing up in a different country (Taiwan) where illegal drugs are strictly prohibited, it is very surprising to me that how accessible marijuana is here in the United States. Due to this reason, plus the over exaggerations by the media, I used to think that marijuana should never be legalized under any kind of circumstances; but after learning more information about its function in medicine, (such as reducing chronic pain, increasing appetite of chemo patients, even slowing down the growth of cancer cells), and how it could possibly help many people suffering from psychological illnesses, I think I’d have to think on this issue once again. There are many pros and cons of each side, and I believe each of them is very important. Therefore it is necessary to find a balance between them in order to seek the best interest of the entire society.