There’s a very thin line that’s pretty easy to cross when we’re debating the legality of drugs. While most people associate the illegal use of drugs with substances like cocaine, heroin, marijuana and similar others, the biggest problem we face as a society is the abuse of prescription drugs, the ones that are legitimately available with, and sometimes even without a prescription. People use drugs even when they don’t really need it – to relax before a stressful situation, to sleep on a flight that takes several hours to reach their destination, and even to stay awake and alert while pulling all-nighters during examinations.
But then, we as a human race, decide to focus not on such indiscretions, but on the fact that marijuana is being legally prescribed. We conveniently forget that people want this marijuana not for their pleasure, but to eliminate pain and improve the quality of their life. Marijuana has been proved to have various medicinal properties, and is especially beneficial in relieving intense pain associated with various chronic medical conditions and terminal diseases like cancer. But even as states like California, Colorado, Oregon and others allow marijuana to be sold through medical dispensaries on the basis of a prescription from a licensed doctor, the federal authorities are against this practice. And what with the tug-of-war going on between the state and the fed, it’s those who are in real need of this drug who stand to lose the most.
Marijuana is approved for medical usage in various countries including Australia, Belgium, Israel, Netherlands and Canada. However, it is only in the USA that the debate rages on as regards its usage, simply because the laws that govern this subject are murky at best and incomprehensible at worst. As of now, 14 states in the US permit cannabis to be sold for medicinal purposes. Even so, the DEA considers that it has the right to raid medical marijuana dispensaries and even the homes of patients who have been prescribed the drug to treat medical conditions. Where does the authority of the state end and where does that of the fed begin? The smoke continues to be as hazy as ever.
While we cannot deny the fact that marijuana does have intoxicating properties, the fact remains that it has been proved to have effective medicinal values. So the least the federal government can do is regulate its sale in states that have approved its usage for medicinal purposes. This way, they would be cracking down on those who are abusing it, even as they allow those who really need it to continue to do so without the fear of harassment or arrest.
But then, in a country where perception is everything, where people see things in black and white without understanding that there are times when shades of grey make the most sense, the very mention of the word marijuana is enough to draw flak. We don’t stop to look beyond the drug and see why and how it is being used; we don’t think and come up with ways to regulate its usage so that it does not fall into the wrong hands; instead, we jump to conclusions that it is being used for the wrong reasons, and because of this, those who are in pain continue to be in pain even as they know that there’s a way out.
This guest post is contributed by Kathy Wilson, who writes on the topic of x-ray technician schools . She welcomes your comments at her email id: firstname.lastname@example.org