One major topic of discussion between politics, and people all over the US is whether to legalize marijuana or not. Some argue that is has more benefits than dangers, and will only bring more wealth to the economy. Others argue that People’s well being will be damaged.
Although studies say that it might decrease grades and induce laziness, this could very well be due to third confounding variables. It is common that teens that smoke marijuana will also often be consuming other forms of drugs. It has not been proven that minor intakes of cannabis severely impair someone from functioning properly.
Marijuana is often prescribed to people with pain or depression problems. I have always wondered if medical marijuana was truly beneficial for the patient.
In a systematic review testing the effects of marijuana in regards to helping patients with specific medical disorders, it is ultimately concluded that marijuana does not provide ill patients with significant relief or improvement. Studies regarding cannabis intake and lowering seizures in patients with epilepsy, and one about helping people with involuntary moving disorders, did not conclude with results that signified any correlation. In another study testing the effect of marijuana on tremors by people with MS, 337 patients were given either a placebo drug or actual marijuana and there was no significant difference in the reports. Effects of marijuana on bladder conditions due to MS were also tested, and no improvement was shown. (Volkow)
Since the placebo effect came in to play several times during these experiments, it is difficult to say whether marijuana has a positive impact on one’s medical condition or not. No “bad” effects have been reported showing significant evidence against medical marijuana use. Ultimately, the effects of medical marijuana are unclear. While some may argue that it helps their moods and mental health, others just feel as if it is a waste.
An observational study done on the suicide rate in areas with medical marijuana legalized vs not legalized, hypothesized that marijuana can aid in depression disorders. It found that suicide rates fell in the states, which legalized marijuana, while the suicide rate rose in the states where it was never legalized. Specifically males between 15 and 19 had a sharp decline in suicides post legalization, along with males between 20 and 59. 60 and above did not experience such a drastic decrease, but it was still present. In females though, there is less support defending marijuana decreasing the suicide rate after legalization. (Anderson) Although this experiment seems to provide strong evidence that marijuana decreases suicide, there could always be flaws and other factors that contribute to these statistics. People could be medicating themselves in other ways, or receiving therapy. This study simply only follows the trends, and not specifics of each individual. If another study were done, perhaps an experiment factoring for these other variables, it would be more likely that marijuana is responsible for the decrease in suicides.
Marijuana is a touchy subject in the legal world, but it is also challenging medically. If you suffer from a severe mood disorder or depression, there is no evidence as to support why you shouldn’t use it, but it shouldn’t be relied on completely. As to actual medical disorders, marijuana does not seem to be a cure. You should probably stick to protocol treatments from a physician.