Because of the overall negative side effects, many opponents will argue that despite the positive benefits, the drawbacks of using the drug are severe. (Morrow, 2009) This is the reason why it should remain illegal (because of: these negative side effects). An example of this can be seen with comment from the Institute of Medicine which found, "The most compelling concerns regarding marijuana smoking in HIV / AIDS patients are the possible effects of marijuana on immunity. Reports of opportunistic fungal and bacterial pneumonia in AIDS patients who used marijuana suggest that marijuana smoking either suppresses the immune system or exposes patients to an added burden of pathogens. In summary, patients with preexisting immune deficits due to AIDS should be expected to be vulnerable to serious harm caused by smoking marijuana." ("Top Ten Pros and Cons," 2006)
What this shows is the conflicting opinions, as to if medical marijuana can help or hinder the treatment of various ailments. This is because, the overall studies conducted on the true effects have of marijuana are showing mixed results. The reason why, is due to the fact that marijuana is similar to other drugs that are used to treat various medical conditions, meaning that there are going to be benefits and drawbacks in using the drug. This is significant, because these differences in the effectiveness of the drug; have shown that both sides are correct in the points that they make. Yet, to determine the use of the effectiveness of the drug depends up the views of the experts. Where, their personal opinions on the drug, could sway how they feel about its use to treat a variety of ailments and diseases.
Clearly, medical marijuana has been shown to be effective at treating a variety of ailments and conditions. While at the same time, it has been shown to have a number of notable drawbacks. Some of the different benefits of using medical marijuana would include: it can effectively treat nausea / vomiting (a common ailment for chemotherapy), reverse appetite loss and reduce stress / pain. These are common ailments that are associated with: cancer, depression, HIV / AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. According, to proponents, because the drug can help alleviate pain and suffering for the above conditions is why it should be used. While, opponents will claim that there are a number of drawbacks of using medical marijuana to include: it can cause lung / tissue damage, it has cancer causing agents, it can affect your short-term memory, your ability to reason effectively and it carries the risks of abuse. From their point-of-view, the overall negative effects of medical marijuana far outweigh any kind of positive benefit that could be obtained from using the drug. These different view points are what is causing heated debate on the issue. However, when you look at the overall big picture, it is obvious that marijuana can be effective at treating various conditions / ailments. While, at the same time it has been shown to have a number of side effects. This is important because, understanding the benefits of using the drug and the possible side effects will allow you to effectively know how and when it can be applied in the real world. Once this takes place, the health care professional can begin engaging in their main objective, to alleviate suffering as much as possible. Marijuana can do this; however, there are drawbacks that could affect some patients. It is through balancing these two factors; that will help all medical professionals decide if the use of medical marijuana is an effective way to reduce suffering as much as possible.
Top Ten Pros and Cons. (2009, May 6). Retrieved March 18, 2010 from Medial Marijuana website: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000141
Foreman, J. (2009, July 13). Evil Weed or Useful Drug. Retrieved March 19, 2010 from Boston Globe website: http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2009/07/13/the_pros_and_cons_of_medical_marijuana/?page=1
General, S. (2007, May 7). Marijuana Pros and Cons. Retrieved March 19, 2010 from Steady Health website: http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/Marijuana__Pros_and_cons_a67_f0.html
Morrow, a. (2009, April 26). What are the Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana. Retrieved March 19, 2010 from About.com website: http://dying.about.com/od/symptommanagement/f/med_mj_procon.htm