There is always a danger when a person is prescribed a pain killer. For one, there is a limit to what the body can take when it comes to pain. For another, pain killers cannot be used for long periods of time. Between these two risks, there is also the matter of addiction to pain killers. The temporary release from pain is a welcome feeling. On top of that the patient yearns for freedom from the pain.
This is the first step in getting addicted to prescription pain killers. This makes for a compelling reason for the use of medicinal marijuana.
The problem of hindrance to marijuana is chronological. It was first used as a recreational drug. The narcotic effects of marijuana are well known. It is also well-known that marijuana has become an entry-level drug to the use of more potent hallucinogens. Most drug users during the 1960s and 1970s started out with marijuana, before using LSD and heroin. On the other hand, most morphine addicts started out as hospital patients who were prescribed morphine for the pain. In the same token, opium users most probably had opium as their first drug, in an opium house.
The prohibition of marijuana stemmed from its association with other drugs. That was enough to classify it as both an addictive drug and a prohibited or illegal drug, as well. Through the years, studies have shown that in terms of drug addiction, marijuana is the least addictive of prohibited drugs. It is has been proven to be less addictive than cigarettes or alcohol. There are, of course, other side-effects to marijuana use, which puts it at par with alcohol and cigarettes. Excessive use can lead to mutated sperm cells, as well as a lowered libido. It can also lead to damage to brain cells. Which means that it has the same long-term effects as alcohol, or nicotine, but not as bad as steroid use for muscle growth.
Through it all, there has been a large body of research showing that when used as a pain killer, it has the same efficacy as morphine, but does not have the addictive properties. Separate studies, have also shown that marijuana has some anti-cancer properties. If only for that reason, these studies about the medical benefits of marijuana should continue. There have also been additional studies on growing weeds in terms of the variants which have more medical benefits and less hallucinogens.
The question of use remains a problem until it becomes legalized. In New Zealand, it is estimated that more than 13% of the population between the age of 16 and 64 use it. In terms of usage, about 15% of the users smoke it at least ten times per month. In terms of country statistics, the country ranks 9th in marijuana consumption. It is included in the list of illicit drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1975.
For New Zealand, the problem, as with most countries, is that cannabis use leads to the experimentation and use of other illegal drugs. The New Zealand Law Commission has issued a recommendation to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1975, and allow marijuana for medicinal purposes. The New Zealand Medical Association has supported the recommendation.