Medical Marijuana: The fear of a name

Riley Neil, Features editor

“Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.”

The quote written by J.K Rowling expresses the argument of medical marijuana today. Although the quote is being used to describe an evil wizard, the idea is still valid and comes to play into American politics today. Medical marihuana: one of the main topics of the 2016 election, the drug that twenty-two states have yet to let enter their hospitals, and the name that sparks controversy like no other. Medical marihuana is also medicine. Medicine that heals people. It is a medicine that in some cases is the only thing that can save a person’s life.

So much of the argument that is created by medical marijuana comes from the name. The idea of marijuana creates the picture in American’s minds of the haze of the seventies, prison bars, and the horror stories of addiction that they show you in health class. It creates the fear of using an illegal drug in a hospital and the addiction scare that can come from that. Not using a resource that could save a person’s life and has causes the same amount of side effects that other addictive painkiller drugs is the real fear here. Now, I am not stating that addiction is not a serious issue and that marijuana, especially when used recreationally, is not a problem. But the fact is that many addictive drugs are used in hospitals for what their purpose: healing people. Used in small doses and when do the right way, medicine is what saves people’s lives. What makes marihuana any different?

Medical marijuana can cure what can’t be cured any other way. There are 700 and counting medical uses of Cannabis and those are 700 diseases that can be treated faster, cheaper, and save lives. Serious diseases such as cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, and other conditions can also be treated through the drug. Medical marihuana has been legalized in 28 states and Washington D.C, and I was pleased to see that Arkansas joined this list in 2016. America is the land of the free and I believe that the American people should have the right to be able to use a drug that is going to save their lives and know the consequences of taking that action. It should not be up to the government to decide what risks a person can or can not take and should be up to that individual and their doctor.

Learning about medical marijuana and what it can do and the lives it can save, will change how you view the idea marijuana. Medical marijuana may not be Lord Voldemort, but fearing the name and not actually looking into the facts of what medical marijuana can do can kill just as many people.