Medical Marijuana: A Personal Decision

March 24, 2010 – Medical Marijuana.  Many states are amending laws changing the face of what federal administrators deemed an illegal and harmful drug. Some states currently have programs that allow patients with a doctor’s order to purchase and use medical marijuana.

The debate continues and may prove to be a leading contributor in how health care reform and public policy is rewritten. While states allow medical marijuana, its usage, possession and paraphernalia still violate federal law. This battle in states’ rights versus federal law creates a new war of federalism with a possible Supreme Court case written all over it.

One of the major criticisms of cannabis as medicine is opposition to smoking as a method of consumption. The harm caused by smoking can be minimized or eliminated by the use of a vaporizer. But these devices are becoming more regulated for import into the United States. This is like saying a diabetes patient could have insulin but not the needles required to inject the medication.

A reason this is a vital discussion point? A worker in Michigan was recently fired from his job for testing positive for drug use — medical marijuana. The employee was being treated by his physician for sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor pressing against his skull. The irony is that his employer knew that he was under doctor’s care for medical marijuana but after a random drug test he tested positive and was fired immediately. The company maintained a drug free workplace policy and said that was the reason the employee was fired.

Another problem is that medical marijuana already exists in our nation’s pharmacies. It’s called Marinol, Sativex or Nabilone. It comes in the form of a pill and contains the same active ingredient, THC. It is legal with a valid prescription for many cancer and AIDS patients all over the U.S. However, there is no label on the bottle that reads, “Warning, May Result In Getting You Fired.”

The term recreational drug is about to be redefined — again. Prescription drug abuse is an ongoing problem. One reason for this is the stigma of possession of marijuana and the paraphernalia associated with its use. So while marijuana has been labeled as recreational, it may soon change to become a legal prescription. Medical marijuana users may have to heavily rely upon drug masking agents so that they may pass employment tests, keeping their employer’s medical benefits.

Here is a question to ponder: it is currently illegal to smoke tobacco within so many feet of campus buildings. But what rights does one have when it comes to a doctors order; especially medical marijuana and perhaps with a suggested vaporizer. A paradox is adhering to doctors’ orders while maintaining a drug free campus. Lets up the ante. What if a student or employee had a prescription for Marinol while on campus? Needless to say the legality would be tricky. But we could find lawyers for both sides ready to argue.

Furthermore, what about NCAA athletics rules? It is doubtful a cancer patient would be participating in our athletics program. But let’s take a step back and consider the late Kay Yow. Her fight against cancer was a tough battle. Perhaps she had to take medications equivalent to Merinol. What if for some ridiculous reason she was fired from her job for following doctors’ orders? I would be outraged and I am sure many other cancer survivors would be too.

Medical marijuana is a personal decision for any American; the argument today is more than its usage. It’s about the future of medication screenings, states’ rights and corporations that fail to recognize local laws. This is one reason why federal government gets too large. It’s large corporations that require monitoring by federal agencies so that they play fair in adhering to equality of law.

By Sam Daughtry.  Source.

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