Medical marijuana has been a controversial topic over the last few years. In the US, the benefits of medical marijuana are accepted and that is the reason behind their government legalising it in almost 26 states. In India, marijuana was legal until 1961, when the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs banned it along with other hard drugs.
In mythology, Lord Shiva has been depicted smoking cannabis, and choosing it as his favourite food. Cannabis used to be a magical medicinal drug that has been used for centuries, especially in India. Sadhus, or holy men still use it on a daily basis. So, why now, do we need to ban it?
There’s one argument about it being an intoxicant drug - however, since it is natural, it cannot cause death on overdose. It is non-addictive and can have a lot of good properties. Dr Azra Safdari, based in Mangalore said, “When compared to other harmful intoxicants, marijuana is the safest choice. Unlike alcohol, it doesn't cause liver disease. Unlike opioids, it doesn't cause physiological dependence. Unlike tobacco, it doesn't cause oral, throat or lung cancer. In fact, studies have shown that pure strains improve concentration and have cancer-fighting properties”
“Medicinal marijuana for one, has numerous benefits like analgesic, antiemetic, increasing the appetite and metabolism. These properties, especially help in cancer patients undergoing rigorous chemotherapy.” - Dr Safdari
Medical marijuana has a lot of benefits - especially with people who are fighting cancer, epilepsy and glaucoma. In fact, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Centre in San Francisco have found that the cannabinoids found in Marijuana can stop cancer cells from growing.
Other benefits of medical marijuana can be in the reduction of anxiety in people who suffer from extreme anxiety. It can reduce epileptic seizures as well as seizures caused by Dravet’s Syndrome. It also eases the pain in many disorders, especially for people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
Since marijuana has so many good properties, then why is it so hard to find medical marijuana in India? People who want to treat their diseases with medical marijuana in India usually have to source it illegally. Viki Vaurora, an activist based in Bangalore has founded a movement called The Great Legalisation Movement - India. He said in an interview with arguendo.co.in, “I started this movement to educate the society and the government about how a blind law is causing the suffering of millions of people in our country and also we are at the edge of destroying our entire ecosystem with toxic wastes and industrial products. I believe that just this one plant can truly change the way we live in this time. Cannabis is the future. It's time to bring back a massive Medical, Economical, Environmental, Industrial and a Spiritual Revolution. All it takes is to change just one Law."
In the US, medical marijuana has saved many lives, and we should follow the same. A strict system around medical marijuana, but at least it will be available to those who need it.
Even though it can be argued that marijuana can be abused by the young generation, it is quite evident that even though it is an illegal drug, it is not very hard to source it. The government shouldn’t turn a blind eye towards the medicinal properties of cannabis because of that one reason though. In the US, medical marijuana has saved many lives, and we should follow the same. A strict system around medical marijuana, but at least it will be available to those who need it.
Pic credits: Medical News Today
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