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State Medical Marijuana

Endorsement of medical cannabis is under the control of various stakeholders who support or oppose these events. According to Wilkinson et al. (2016), several states are now approving the utilization of the drug for clinical reasons. The proponents of the need to legalize the drug cite various cases where the use has improved medical cases. They indicate the medicinal marijuana is useful in the management of several illnesses. However, those opposing the move point to the likelihood of addiction and psychological issues. These groups are composed of different stakeholders. Medical professionals, politicians, and advocacy groups make up both sides of the divide. Despite improved understanding of the positive effects, some medical professionals still think that the use is maybe harmful. Even so, many states are approving its utilization, pointing to the rise in the understanding and regulation on the use of medical marijuana.

Current medical research on medical marijuana provides informed and objective comment on increased use. The sources provide opinion on both the positive and negative influence of the drug. For instance, Bridgeman and Abazia (2017) argue that its utilization is vulnerable to abuse. The fact that cannabis has the potential for addiction implies that unregulated use can have adverse health impacts. However, the same authors demonstrate the benefits of the drug in medicine. Using the right component of the drug can eliminate its negative influence, implying that it can be used without fearing any vulnerabilities. Even though the use is on the rise, proper regulation can aid in the avoidance of the negativities.

Many states have legalized medical marijuana. These occurrences suggest the need for related laws to bring sanity into the industry. Maxwell and Mendelson (2016) indicate that the rise in use has a massive implication for policy. Apart from the current prescription laws that exist in all the states that have legalized the drug, the country needs new laws to ensure that these elements fall into the right hands. With proper laws, the use can be restricted to the neediest cases only to reduce the current state of utilization.

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More recent research regarding the use and benefits of cannabis and its therapeutic effects for various medical disorders has allowed more people to think about its use and has become more widely accepted (Carter, Weydt & Kyashna, 2016). Many healthcare facilities, stakeholders, and health businesses are actually considering initiating the use of medical cannabis with their patients. Those who favor the practice believe that the legalization of cannabis could help stem the opiate/heroin epidemic in the United States. Medicinal cannabis can be used to treat chronic pain instead of opioids, which are much more dangerous. There has also been incredible opposition from other healthcare segments.

Some stakeholders who oppose the use of medical cannabis is the pediatric community. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that “any change in the legal status of marijuana, even if limited to adults, could affect the prevalence of use among adolescents” (American Nurses Association, 2017, p. 18). While it supports scientific research on the possible medical use of cannabinoids as opposed to smoked marijuana, it opposes the legalization and use of marijuana for minors.

Historically speaking, current and ongoing research on medicinal cannabis include studies that examine its use or potential use for treatment of alcohol abuse; Alzheimer disease; and anxiety, depression, and psychosis (Carter, Weydt & Kyashna, 2016). The proapoptotic effect of cannabis along with its ability to inhibit AGF makes it particularly interesting to researchers and clinicians who treat patients with cancer.18-20 Its anti-inflammatory effect has drawn the attention of those involved in researching and treating autoimmune diseases as well.

One of the first concerns that many nurse practitioners may have is what support would they have in their practice with regard to the use of medicinal cannabis. Nurses whose patients are using medicinal cannabis may find it comforting to know that the American Nurses Association provides a supportive position statement highlighted in this excerpt below:

“Professional nursing organizations need to advocate for all nurses and to advance change to improve health and healthcare.” The ANA strongly supports:

Scientific review of marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance and relisting marijuana as a federal Schedule II controlled substance for purposes of facilitating research (ANA, 2017).


American Nurses Association (2017). Advocacy, solutions, and position statements: Medical cannabis. Retrieved on July 26, 2018 from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/Positions-and-Resolutions/ANAPositionStatements/Position-Statements-Alphabetically/Therapeutic-Use-of-Marijuana-and-Related-Cannabinoids.pdf.

Carter, G.T., Weydt, P., & Kyashna, M., (2016). Medicinal cannabis: Healthcare in the Mix. Journal of Contemporary Nursing; 7(5):464–470.