Medical Marijuana Gains Local Attention

Near Mt. Hebron on Route 40, Greenhouse Wellness, a medical marijuana dispensary, will be opening in the coming weeks. With a rise in the prevalence of medical marijuana in Maryland and around the country, questions have been posed about the uses and safety of the treatments.  

Scientific studies have shown cannabinoid drugs (CBD) can potentially have therapeutic value for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting. Other studies have also found marijuana effective in relieving some of the symptoms of HIV and AIDs. Some studies suggest that medical marijuana may even help relieve seizures in children with hard to treat epilepsy.

Medical marijuana is not an FDA approved drug because the FDA conducts hundreds of tests on human subjects to determine the benefits of a possible medication. So far, researchers have not conducted enough trials that show the benefits of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana has the potential to greatly reduce the demand for narcotics and simultaneously decrease the amount of accidental painkiller overdoses.

There are varied opinions in the legalization of this drug. One Mt. Hebron junior said, “I think medical marijuana should be legalized but with laws put in place so it can not be abused more than it already is. One of my family members suffers from epilepsy, and smoking medical marijuana helps with his seizures.”

But a Mt. Hebron senior said, “I think marijuana should be illegal in all states even if it is used for medical purposes.”

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) develops policies, procedures and regulations to start programs that ensure medical cannabis is available to the residents of Maryland in a safe and effective way. The MMCC overlooks all licensing, registration, inspection and testing pertaining to Maryland’s medical cannabis programs.

In 1996, voters in California passed Proposition 215, making California the first in the union to allow the use of medical marijuana. Following this Proposition, 28 more states have created similar laws. A total of 29 states, including District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, allow for public medical marijuana.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta told CNN, “We should legalize medical marijuana. We should do it nationally. And, we should do it now.”

Users usually smoke medical marijuana in paper-rolled cigarettes or pipes. Those prescribed can also brew it into a beverage, eat it in cooked foods, or take it in pill form. The effects of a marijuana pill can be strong and long-lasting. This makes it hard to predict how it will affect a person.

Medical marijuana can also be inhaled it through vaporizers, while topical marijuana can be applied to the skin to address pain and inflammation.

The short-term side effects of medical marijuana include disrupting your short-term memory and your decision-making ability for one to three hours. Large doses of medical marijuana can cause hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. The long-term effects of medical marijuana include respiratory problems such as a daily cough.

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