Further talk on the effects of using marijuana following the passing of proposal 1 in Michigan

Taren Odette, Lode Writer

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In response to the article on the passing of Proposal 1, there has been quite a discussion on the effects of marijuana. Some believe that marijuana decreases reaction times as well as decreases focus and interaction with people. Others believe that marijuana opens up their minds and allows for more focus and motivation.

According to an article titled The Implications of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado by Andrew A. Monte, M.D., Richard D. Zane, M.D., and Kennon J. Heard, M.D. Ph.D., marijuana allows for major health improvements for many people. The article states that medical marijuana can help people with seizure disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, and pain.

According to an article on the Harvard Medical School blog, there are even more benefits to using marijuana. “The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. Part of its allure is that it is clearly safer than opiates (it is almost impossible to overdose on and far less addictive) and it can take the place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve if people can’t take them due to problems with their kidneys, or ulcers or GERD. In particular, marijuana appears to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis and nerve pain in general. This is an area where few other options exist, and those that do, such as Neurontin, Lyrica or opiates, are highly sedating. Patients claim that marijuana allows them to resume their previous activities without feeling completely detached and disengaged. Along these lines, marijuana is said to be a fantastic muscle relaxant, and people swear by its ability to lessen tremors in Parkinson’s disease. I have also heard of its use quite successfully for fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and most other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain. Marijuana is also used to manage nausea and weight loss and can be used to treat glaucoma. A highly promising area of research is its use for PTSD in veterans who are returning from combat zones. Many veterans and their therapists report drastic improvement and clamor for more studies, and for a loosening of governmental restrictions on its study. Medical marijuana is also reported to help patients suffering from pain and wasting syndrome associated with HIV, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

While marijuana is believed to have many benefits, there are many who believe that it should not be used. This includes the federal government, which classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. This classification is also why marijuana is not permitted on campus. Police Commissioner Dan Bennett further confirmed this in a statement he gave, “While recreational marijuana may be legal as far as Michigan is concerned, it is still a controlled substance and a federal crime. Michigan Tech accepts federal funding. If we knowingly and willingly violate federal laws, it may place our federal funding in jeopardy. As such, marijuana is not allowed on campus. If we were to find a student in possession of marijuana, we legally must confiscate the marijuana and place it into evidence. If we were to return the marijuana to the person it was confiscated from, then the officer returning the marijuana would actually be committing a federal crime. I have complete faith and trust in the officers of Public Safety and Police Services to handle this type of situation with discretion. The officer may choose to issue a verbal warning or refer the subject to conduct services. But either way, the marijuana will be confiscated.”

As states continue to have proposals for marijuana on their ballots, the opinions of the people and the opinion of the federal government may change. However, change takes time and sometimes it never occurs. Only time will tell if marijuana will be permitted throughout the United States.