A Question of Ethics

Federally, cannabis is a schedule 1 narcotic with no medical benefits and a high likeliness of addiction. Although both of those considerations have been all but disproven, it remains illegal. A lot of kids may use cannabis as an escape from reality, or just a way to anger their parents, or just as a social activity. However, there are more and more people now using cannabis medicinally, whether it is to treat simple knee pain from gout or to reverse the effects of oncoming Parksinson’s disease. There have been an infinite amount of studies disproving the propaganda spewed through televisions in the 60s and 70s, such as killing brain cells (cannabis has shown to have neuro-protective properties, the opposite of killing.), making one lazy (how is that even a convincing argument?), and more. One reason that the criminalization of cannabis is unethical is simple, alcohol.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), an average of 88,000 people die each year due to alcohol. Where are the deaths from cannabis overdose? Cannabis dependence? They don’t exist, because nobody has ever died from a marijuana overdose (physically impossible), and nobody ever will. Alcohol leads to liver disease, heart disease, cancer…the list goes on. Yet the most solid evidence against cannabis being harmful is that it makes you lazy or forgetful? I’d rather be a laid back person who doesn’t remember every small detail that in reality does not matter, than someone who goes with society, blindly drinking myself into an early grave (about 30 years earlier for moderate alcohol consumers). Yes, I think I’ll take the cannabis.

Besides the poison that society would rather consume, economics come into effect. 52% of all drug related arrests in 2010 were directly related to cannabis. Between 2001 and 2010, 80% of these arrests were for simple possession. African Americans have become four times more likely to be stopped and arrested for cannabis possession. The black market has led to stereotyping, racial profiling, and an increase in money spent on the incarceration of these victims who could have merely been trying to save their own life without addictive pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects.

Here is an “Ethical” situation for you to consider; You find out that through a car accident, a loved one has become highly epileptic, having close to 30 seizures a day (actually not bad compared to real patients), and is in clear physical pain and distress. You go to the doctor and he prescribes you Dilantin, a common medication for treating epilepsy. Here are some of the side effects: Headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, feeling of spinning, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or nervousness. Here’s some more: unusual eye movements, loss of coordination, slurred speech, confusion, muscle twitching, double or blurred vision, tingling of the hands/feet, facial changes (e.g., swollen lips, butterfly-shaped rash around the nose/cheeks), excessive hair growth, increased thirst or urination, unusual tiredness, bone or joint pain, and easily broken bones. You get the idea. Now the doctor says, “It is illegal in this state, but Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a medicinal chemical in cannabis that can treat and cure epilepsy with no bad side effects beside the bitter taste.” (CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis, which means one cannot get high off of it)

The thing is, in patients with excessive seizures, such as 30 or more daily, after consuming a COUPLE DROPS of cannabidiol oil orally stopped all seizures almost instantly. The subjects went back to an almost normal, seizure free life, with visible signs of an increase in happiness and decrease in pain or harsh side effects from a wide range of drugs used prior. However, cannabis is illegal, which makes CBD illegal. So here are your options:

  1. Take the “legal” pharmaceuticals that might stop SOME of the seizures your loved one is having, while adding a short novel of side effects to cause them more pain, or,
  2. Use “illegal” CBD or cannabis to almost instantly cure your loved one of his or her seizures, with little to no side effects at all, and the risk of going to prison.

Many medical cannabis patients have come to this ethical dilemma, and many have decided that their own personal well-being and the well-being of loved ones is more important than the risk of consequences due to their “illegal” action, and I agree with them.

Another way to look at it, from a more natural standpoint, is that cannabis was on earth before humans were, alcohol wasn’t. It is natural, created by the earth, for earth. Everything on earth has some type of purpose. Man created alcohol, and it has slowly been destroying lives ever since. Over a quarter of prison space is taken up by someone who was simply growing or using cannabis. Yet poison is sold off the shelves everyday without batting an eye. Children die from multiple medication overdoses because they cannot use a natural medicine that works cheaply, quickly, effectively, and safely. It is unethical that cannabis is illegal.


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