Jackie Berryman
I believe marijuana (cannabis) should be legalized for medicinal purposes.
Scientific research as well as anecdotal accounts indicates that the medicinal properties of marijuana are well established. Marijuana is beneficial to patients receiving chemotherapy who often experience nausea and vomiting.
Cancer patients as well as patients who have AIDS often have diminished appetite and benefit from the use of marijuana cannabis which helps to increase appetite.
The use of marijuana lowers the intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients. Research is currently being done that indicates marijuana decreases spasticity and other neurologic symptoms in multiple sclerosis.
I believe marijuana is less harmful than some drugs currently used to treat chronic conditions.
Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the United States called marijuana “less toxic than many drugs physicians prescribe every day.”
As far as I am concerned, marijuana’s value in medical practice has been established and therefore it should be legalized for medical purposes. As a recreational drug, I have no opinion on that issue at this time.
Jackie Berryman is an associate professor of nursing.
Allen Twitchelle
I do believe the legalization of marijuana is a slippery slope. The old, standby argument that legalization brings about regulation, taxation and safety is worth merit (it certainly worked with alcohol after the end of Prohibition). At the same time, the government probably wants to avoid the impression that it’s encouraging its citizens to get high.
Those who want to smoke pot are going to do it regardless, so why not remove as much of the criminal element as possible?
Of course, it won’t nearly rid the streets of dealers (not with crack, heroin, cocaine, etc., still unavailable through legal channels). I’m all for decriminalizing marijuana, but the issue of legalization is still a bit hazy for me.
Allen Twitchell is the resident director of Wallingford.