Opinion Piece Written by Cooper Hahn
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years. There are traces of the use of marijuana found in many different cultures and religions. One being the most controversial, the Bible. That's right, Jesus smoked weed too. Although the Bible does not directly quote Jesus using cannabis, it is mentioned in the book of exodus. “The ministry of Jesus marked the return of the Jewish Messiah-kings, and thus the re-emergence of the holy oil. Jesus was called the Christ because he violated the Old Testament taboo on the cannabis oil and distributed it freely for initiation rites and to heal the sick and wounded” (Cannabis Bennet 98). Even though a "holy and pure" figure like Jesus used marijuana, it’s still being criminalized to this day. This is to negatively affect and inflict damage on minorities, such as the African American and Latinx communities.
The use of medical marijuana can benefit millions. Drug sociologist Lynn Zimmer and narcotics researcher John P. Morgan have found many health benefits from cannabis. For glaucoma, cannabis reduces the fluid pressure in the eyes that causes unfixable damage to vision. For AIDS patients, marijuana addresses their immunosuppression and the danger posed by lung irritants and fungal illnesses such as aspergillosis. Marijuana can also help slow down the growing pain of cancer. The American Cancer Society has put out a statement saying “A number of small studies of smoked marijuana found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from going through chemotherapy,” which means there is less need for more medication and pain pills.
Marijuana has been used to heal hundreds of thousands of people, but because the government refuses to legalize medical marijuana to continue on with the oppression of African Americans, it's a slow process getting people the help and treatment from medical marijuana that they deserve. They take the negative stigma of weed and demonize the recreational aspect of it and choose to associate it with African Americans just so they can put them away and appeal to the 13th Amendment. In a book by Rudolf Gerber about the use of marijuana it states, “Though it remains criminal, pot offers a vastly superior safety record in comparison to legal drugs. Although the misuse of over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ephedra, and antihistamines each year kills thousands of Americans, pot is one of the few drugs that has yet to cause a fatality. Nor is there any known fatal dosage.”
While most agree with the use of medical marijuana, many don't. Concerns behind the use of medical cannabis include the euphoric high. Some believe that smoking marijuana could be unpleasant. Another quote of The American Cancer Society says “it also can lower the user’s control over movement, cause disorientation, and sometimes cause unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia...People who have had emotional illnesses, paranoia, or hallucinations may find their symptoms are worse when taking cannabinoid drugs.” Though to every drug, there will always be side effects. There are many side effects of using cannabis, but when monitored and tracked in a safe environment cannabis can be very helpful. Marijuana has numerous health benefits and can help benefit millions..
ACS. “Marijuana and Cancer.” American Cancer Society, 4 Mar. 2015, www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/complementary-and-alternative-medicine/marijuana-and-cancer.html.
Gerber, Rudolph J. “Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics.”Barnes & Noble, 2004, www.barnesandnoble.com/w/legalizing-marijuana-rudolph-j-gerber/1100268377.
Bennet, Chris. “Cannabis and the Christ: Jesus Used Marijuana.” Cannabis Culture, 14 Dec. 2012, www.cannabisculture.com/content/1998/01/02/1301.
Author Bio: Cooper Hahn is an aspiring cannabis content writer. Raised in Cincinnati Ohio, Cooper is known for his persuasive and informative writing. He is a cannabis advocate, using his writing to spread information about the great benefits of the legalization of cannabis.