Typically when people think of marijuana, they think Cheech and Chong, hippies, stoners, and so forth. But, has marijuana been given a bad reputation? In recent years, some states have battled against the federal law and have legalized marijuana for medicinal use. Some states have even legalized recreational use. So why is it not made a federal law? Why isn’t marijuana legal? I strongly believe that marijuana is beneficial for humans and does not just make someone lazy. I can support marijuana’s health benefits from my experience with depression, as well as with my dad dealing with cancer.
First, I will address my experience with the plant. I have dealt with depression and anxiety since I was about thirteen. Once I was fifteen years old, I started taking medication. From fifteen to nineteen years old, I have tried ten different medications. From Zoloft to Prozac, I’ve tried all the mainstream antidepressants. Sure, it had “helped.” I was not necessarily sad anymore, but I did not feel anything. People close to me would say that I was a zombie, as if I was just an empty body. This is a side effect of the medications as well as nausea and exhaustion.
At seventeen, I went to college at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It was not till then that I was exposed to marijuana. Yes, I have had my bad experiences, but once I knew how to use it responsibly, I felt a way that no medication has made me feel before. I felt alive. I felt like a normal human being. I did not have a huge weight of anxiety dragging me down, and for once in a long time I felt okay.
Not only can marijuana help someone mentally, but it can also help someone physically. Recently, my dad has been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. He just began with chemotherapy, and the side effects are intense. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, appetite changes, pain, nerve and muscle problems, and the list goes on. This is where marijuana comes in handy. Marijuana can help lower the severity of the side effects without interfering with the chemo treatment. This is not something many medications can do. So, why is it not legalized everywhere for medical use? In my opinion, it is not fair to not have this a readily available resource nationwide. Especially when people, like cancer patients, can benefit from it. Whether it is depression or cancer, marijuana is a powerful drug that can bring relief to those in pain. Like any medication, one should use marijuana responsibly, and it may react differently depending on the person. Nevertheless, it should at least be an option to aid those who can benefit from its effects. I know the benefits and relief it can bring someone firsthand, and hope that one day it will be federally legal for medical use.