Modern medical research has discovered a beneficial use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions, as found by
the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in March 1999
For many years, scientists have been conclusively demonstrating cannabinoids’ capacity to control or otherwise moderate human autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, scientists throughout the world have studied marijuana’s beneficial role in the treatment of many neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease.)
Under the United Nations World Health Organization, scientists are now also studying the extrodinary beneficial anti-cancer activities of cannabis, as a growing body of universal clinical data concludes that cannabinoids can reduce the spread of specific cancer cells via apoptosis (programmed cell death) and by the inhibition of angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels).
To qualify for Medical Marijuana in NJ, patient must be diagnosed with Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis, the patient’s certification must come from a rheumatologist who is board-certified in rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the certification must attest that other standard treatments for arthritis have failed to bring the patient adequate relief.
“Debilitating medical condition” means: if resistant to conventional medical therapy: seizure disorder, including epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, or glaucoma
that is resistant to conventional medical therapy, one of the following conditions, if severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome results from the condition or treatment thereof, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or cancer that results in severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or
vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy, or inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease;
terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life
seizure and/or spasticity disorders.
The following partial list contains medical ailments that various states recognize is either capable of being treated by or is better treated by the use of medical cannabis than by conventional medicines:
* Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
* Anorexia (Servere)
* Alzheimer’s disease
* Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
* Bipolar Disorder
* Cancer and Chemotherapy
* Chronic Pain
* Crohn’s disease
* Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord with Intractable Spasticity
* Diabetes Mellitus
* Gastrointestinal disorders
* Hepatitis C
* Hospice patients
* Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
* Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
* Inflammatory Autoimmune-Mediated Arthritis
* Intractable Skeletal Muscular Spasticity
* Methicillin-Resistant Staphyloccus Aureus (MRSA)
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Muscular Dystrophy
* Nausea (Chronic Nausea)
* Painful peripheral neuropathy
* Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
* Rheumatoid Arthritis
* Severe Nausea or Vomiting
* Severe or Persistent Muscle Spasms
* Sleep Apnea
* Seizure Disorder
* Terminal Cancer
* Tourette’s Syndrome
* Wasting Syndrome
Medicinal marijuana is today’s hot button; it need not be. Legalizing marijuana is in fact inevitable, and within a few years, every state will legalize use of marijuana for medical purposes. As of February 2010, 14 states allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes – some even allow the patient to grow their own plants within their home. New Jersey is the latest state to pass the bill that allows marijuana use. After passing with a vote of 48-14 in the General Assembly and 25-13 in the State Senate with bipartisan support in both houses, the bill was signed into law by Corzine on Jan. 18. Four more states and the District of Columbia are expected to pass similar legislation this year.
Legalizing marijuana does not only have positive health implications, it can benefit the economy as well. Milton Friedman (an American economist, statistician, and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics) is a staunch supporter of the legalization of marijuana. Friedman isn’t alone in that regard, as he joined over 500 economists in signing An Open Letter to the President, Congress, Governors, and State Legislatures on the benefits of legalizing marijuana; it was also signed by Nobel Laureate George Akerlof and other notable economists including Daron Acemoglu of MIT, Howard Margolis of the University of Chicago, and Walter Williams of George Mason University.
Economic benefits are also substantial part of legalizing marijuana. Direct your attention to a report by Professor Jeffrey A. Miron, titled ‘The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition’. The report shows that marijuana legalization – implementing a system of taxation and regulation — would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. Additionally, if marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually. With all the economic and social health benefits, marijuana legalization will soon be a reality nationwide.