Should the growing of illegal drugs be legalized for medicinal use?
YES but they should need to register with a doctor's note for a certain type of license.
I am against medicinal use of mariijuana. Doctors have an ample arsenal of medications to treat the conditions for which medical marijuana may be "prescribed". Marijuana is usually smoked, and I disapprove of smoking. If a doctor prescribes medical marijuana, and thereby converts a non-smoking patient to a habitual smoker, he has done more harm than good.
Hers is another point which I realize is hard to substantiate, but seems by me to be true. If you look at the clientele at a medical marijuana shop, they look more like a collection of people who spend their time on the street with "will work for food" signs than those who are found in a doctor's waiting room.
In my opinion, and as a physician myself, the whole "medical" marijuana concept stinks!
In response to a remark made in post #9 that people can indeed already obtain marijuana, so why make it legal for medicinal benefits--
1. If marijuana is legalized, the contents can be controlled. Nowadays marijuana is often laced with other substances. If people could grow one or two plants themselves, there would be pure marijuana that they could have, or if they purchase it legally, the marijuana will be pure.
2. More importantly, if a person uses marijuana for relief of pain etc. but applies for a job, he/she will have to submit to a drug test. Now, if marijuana is not legal, then the person will be denied employment opportunities, not to mention anything other legal ramifications that may result. So, having a legal substance that provides medical benefits is of paramount importance to such a person.
We already have licensing and control systems in place in the US for the production and distribution of tobacco and alcohol products- why does everyone think we need to reinvent the wheel? Several states (NM, NJ, CO, RI) have established medical marijuana grower's licensing systems that are working well.
In my opinion we should continue to license growers and monitor them, and we should collect income tax and sales tax from them. That way money is made instead of being wasted chasing small-time illegal growers. If we make the production legal and profitable, big farms will develop and the little nonlicensed guys will give up voluntarily because they can't compete.
Pohnpei sort of hits it on the head. People who want marijuana now don't have much trouble finding it. I doubt many people would bother to fake an illness to get it. And if they did manage to pull it off, so what? Unless they are scamming the insurance company (does insurance pay for something like that?) it's a bit of a victimless crime. That's not to say they shouldn't be punished for some kind of fraud if found out, but it's not like the end of the world if a few people want a lazier way to get their smoke on.
What I don't understand is that people who smoke it legally, for medical reasons, are choosing that mode of transmission. The extracted chemicals in the plant that provide the "relief" can be injested by patients instead. Unless there is something I'm not understanding, why not just sell the pills at the regular pharmacy? The law may give people with chronic illness access to the plants powers, but it doesn't say it has to come in smokable form, does it? You could grow the plants in a massive, secure greenhouse and distill them down to capsules.
Even if legalization would be used to allow people to get drugs that should be illegal, how would that be different than the situation we have now? It is possible for essentially anyone in America to get marijuana if they really want to. How would that change if medical marijuana were legalized? I don't think it would. So, if marijuana actually works for some conditions, then why not legalize it. It's not going to make that much difference to the supply of the drug anyway.
In my opinion this question goes to the very heart of a fundamental problem in our society. The issue is portrayed as one of legality, but the root is the control of the money. The plants used to make the drugs have been around longer than we have. Herbals have been used as medicinals for a very long time. So, the real issue here is who gets the money. Every individual who uses "drugs" does so out of personal need, or desire, and as we have experienced in this country, no amount of money will control the behaviour of the individuals who make up our society. Legalization addresses ownership, it doesn't address ethical or even harmful issues. We have purity laws, inspectors, quality control regulations, and yet we have harmful products available Control has to be personal and individual. My health is my business should become the national standard.
I agree with the posters who say that people would simply use the legalization to illegally obtain the drugs. Regardless of what is done, legalization or not, the fact remains that illegal drugs are easily obtained. Like with almost everything else, money talks and will pretty much buy you anything you need or desire.
If you make the drugs legal, then I think growing them should be legal too. It would be easier for people to have a plant or two of their own so they don't have to go to a dispensary. Personally, I think dispensaries should be more tightly regulated. My mother is a small business owner and a Marijuana Dispensary opened up near her business. Her customers began to immediately complain, and the area is now full of loiterers and trash.
I believe that if something (especially natural) provides help in addressing the health issues of people, all options should be made available to these people to improve their quality of life. Like any "prescription," however, there is a need to "police" its production and distribution. Growing one's own would be cheaper, but there is no way that lawmakers could ensure that the drug only made it into the hands of the patients in need, with prescriptions. There would also be standards to adhere to in growing the drugs to make sure that there were no pesticides used, etc. It is potentially the right thing to do if it serves a valid medicinal need, but only under the supervision of an organization that makes sure the drug is legal and appropriately grown and distributed.
The biggest problem with legalization of marijuana for medical purposes is that a lot of people would use the system to get free weed. Back when they were debating it here at home, I told everyone, "I support the legalization for people who are genuinely in need -- cancer, AIDS, chronic joint, Crohn's, and so forth -- but I don't want people who just want to get high to abuse the system and make problems for the genuinely needy."
I still think that today. As #3 said, the logistics of the issue are enormous. While I don't believe that legalization will make every non-stoner into a stoner, I do believe that the existing stoners will clog up the system with bogus requests, making it harder for sick people to get the help they need.
I will be interested in reading the discussion that this question elicits.
In theory, I like your response - that the growing of the illegal drugs should be permitted with licensing and supervision of the cultivation and processing of the drugs.
In practice, I don't think doctors would be the ones to write the licenses; that would need to come from the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Health and Human Services. Therein lies the problem - bureaucratic red tape and regulations would need to be developed to monitor the growth of the plants, the harvesting and processing of the drugs, the distribution of the drugs as prescribed by doctors to appropriate patients... I'm afraid the whole process would have enormous potential to become overwhelmingly complicated.
This is a question of intense ethical debate. My personal feeling is that if the drug has a demonstrated and scientifically proven medical use, then it should not be illegal for medical usage only. I do think that it would have to be strictly monitored and administered, and not available to the general public. My understanding that those states which have legalized marijuana for medical uses have "shops" where it can be purchased legally. I wonder at times what safeguards have been put in place to ensure that it is sold only to those who have a legitimate use for it.