The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Much maligned marijuana not worth U.S. government’s time

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government may prosecute patients who use prescribed marijuana for medicinal purposes, even though the drug remains legal for those uses in California and nine other states.

Medicinal cannabis treats patients with aliments such as AIDS, HIV, cancers, digestive disorders, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, arthritis and glaucoma.

According to studies from various medical magazines, the active ingredient in cannabis is THC, which in controlled doses can have a significantly positive effect on those suffering with various painful illnesses.

I think one of the reasons for the Supreme Court’s ruling was because the justices felt the federal legalization of the drug, even for medicinal purposes, would cause a stir in the federal government’s war on drugs. Some argue that if marijuana remains legal for patients, then it would counteract the attempt to eliminate federally deemed “illegal drugs.”

Health does not seem to be the issue here. Cigarettes are bought and sold in every gas station in the United States, and everyone has heard about the terrible effects of cigarettes. Why is medicinal cannabis catching so much flak when unhealthy cigarettes have no proven benefits, but are still legal to anyone?

By all means, I agree that the war on drugs should be enforced, and the fight is not a trivial matter.

However, I cannot help but feel that the Supreme Court ruling takes too much power away from the states and from the people. The ruling does not seem to fully consider the lives of those living with these illnesses day in and day out. There should be options for those Americans with chronic illnesses.

The extreme measure of keeping medicinal marijuana federally illegal may cause those who cannot afford other forms of medical prescription relief to suffer from more severe daily pain. There are several other prescription drugs that seem just as questionable as marijuana, as far as their legal status.

Morphine, vicodin, and codeine are known to be addictive substances that are painkillers from “the heroin family.” Valiums and percocets are used as pain relievers, and can also become addictive.

I think what also contributed to the decision is the fact that it is not necessary for pharmaceutical companies to supply the drug. For most prescription cannabis, patients grow their own marijuana, or acquire it from cannabis clubs that are licensed to grow it. Fees for these services can be very minimal but vary depending on the county, unlike other prescription drug companies that require patients to purchase expensive versions of big-name drugs.

In California, a pilot program has been started that issues identification cards to patients as a way to help prevent federal prosecution for medicinal usage. The California Department of Health Services said that by Aug. 1, all 58 state counties will be using the voluntary name-anonymous ID card system.

Perhaps the money that will be spent on enforcing the federal law should be spent on finding a way to use the drug in an oral form. This would help keep it off the street and behind the counter, like any other prescription drug.

This solution would hopefully bring relief to suffering patients and aid in the government’s war on drugs.

More to Discover