Marijuana is a medicine - legalise It | Sunday Observer

Marijuana is a medicine - legalise It

14 August, 2022

There are few subjects that can stir up stronger emotions among doctors, scientists, policymakers, and the public than medical marijuana. Is it safe? Should it be legal? Is it addictive? Is there a way to keep it out of the reach of teenagers? Is it really the “wonder drug” that people claim it is? Are just some of the many questions raised in the debate on whether marijuana should be legalised for medical purposes.

What is marijuana? Well, you might have heard, or you might not. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the cannabis plant which can also be called weed or pot. To many people Marijuana is a drug used by drug addicts to gain an artificial ‘high’. This negative association is further fuelled by the side effects caused by an excessive use of the drug. However, what many fail to realise is that when it comes to medical prescription of the drug, things are very different.

According to research conducted by Harvard Medical School, medically prescribed Marijuana contains the component known as cannabidiol, a stain of Marijuana which has no intoxicating properties. As such patients who currently use medically prescribed Marijuana have reported no signs of altered consciousness. Therefore, despite the association of negative side effects like brain damage, damage to the reproductive system and the weakening of the immune system among others, current studies show that moderate daily use of Marijuana causes none of the above.

Cancer chemotherapy

In this vein several studies have found that medical marijuana can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy and help improve the food intake in HIV patients. A few studies have found that inhaled marijuana can also be helpful in the treatment of neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves).To ease the pain of multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain in general.

This is an area where few other options exist. Patients claim that marijuana allows them to resume their previous activities without feeling completely disengaged unlike other drugs.

Apart from this medical marijuana has been linked to a reduction in tremors in Parkinson’s disease whilst it has been successfully used in the treatment of wasting syndrome associated with HIV, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

Adding to the medical benefit of the drug, Gawini Siriwardane, medical student at the University of Colombo, said that weed should be legal as it has many uses in the medical world and also it has been used by people for thousands of years. Active chemicals in weed are similar to chemicals the body makes, that are involved in appetite, memory, movement and pain. Also, there are many doctors who currently support the effectiveness of using weed as treatment for some conditions such as seizures, cancer and so on.

Looking around there appears to be overwhelming evidence for the responsible and prescribed use of medical marijuana. However, the drug itself remains illegal in most countries. Only 29 states in America have legalised its use despite close to 85 percent of the people our in favour of legalising it.

On the flip side we find that millions have died by smoking, yet they’re sold at stores still. Alcohol has been the main cause of countless deaths due to diabetes, liver disease and dementia with many being killed from drunk driving alone in 2011, yet people can purchase it still. And the question remains as to ‘who has died by consuming medical marijuana?’ the answer is... no one.

Direct tax revenue

With regard to marijuana’s benefit to the economy, Charithma Dissanayake said that there is direct tax revenue from this to the economy. Considering other countries that have legalised this, it can be seen that their tax revenue has increased compared to previous years.

Create jobs

And also, the establishment of weed nurseries can create jobs in the production, distribution, and management sectors. It is good for our unemployment problem. Because when the unemployment rate is reduced, social unrest can also be reduced.

The other side is investment. When weed is legalised, investors benefit from having their investment portfolios secure. And it increases access to a huge number of investors who show a significant interest in this sector.

Apart from these areas, we can get many benefits from this. And this is another golden gate that Sri Lanka can use to earn dollars. There are many core aspects that we can improve when legalising weed. So, legalisation of weed brings more benefit to the economy.

It is not completely right to claim that marijuana is “harmless” even though the properties of marijuana have shown not to be physically addictive, one can become psychologically addicted. However, this is true of just about anything that can give one pleasure, such as chocolate, shopping, or gambling.

Not every substance will be safe for everyone, when used in excessive amounts or under every circumstance.

The effects of medical marijuana will depend on the dose taken. Therefore, it is essential that the prescription be given and supervised by a reputed doctor, who will be better able to manage the patient throughout his/her period of treatment.

Studies show that already millions of Americans use medical marijuana though it is largely illegal in most states.

This is alarming in one sense as it could mean that desperate patients may be obtaining it illegally and consuming it in incorrect dosages. This could lead to further health complications as they are not monitored by a recognised medical practitioner.


Despite its many researched benefits, if governments around the world fail to take heed and decriminalise marijuana for medical purposes, many more desperate people will be seeking it out illegally.

Suhanya Devanjee, a law student at the University of London said as a nation that values the freedoms and liberties of its citizens, we shouldn’t imprison people for using weed as it is scientifically proven that it is safer than alcohol, tobacco, and many other drugs. Additionally, a prohibition would probably be a waste of state resources; legalisation and taxation would be considerably more advantageous for generating the necessary income.

Consequently, the greatest remedy would be a system that controls teens’ access to weed. Furthermore, a full prohibition is likely to result in violence for both the buyers and the sellers.

In these conditions, a legal mechanism that permits the use of weed for both medical and environmental goals will produce superior results. Therefore, considering the medical evidence I personally hope that one day medical marijuana will be as freely available as the common aspirin, giving every patient the right to chose.