Medical marijuana is considered a debatable issue in many countries, yet in the US, it is acceptable, being still related to many opportunities and challenges. One of the major positive effects of medical marijuana is its inhibitory effect in terms of management of pain and stress. For example, Suryadevara et al. (2017) imply that medical marijuana decreases pain and spasticity in the patients who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, substantially decreases tremor, rigidity, and pain in those who have Parkinson’s disease, also contributing to the quality of life of people who are diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (p.800).
The research proves that medical marijuana also improves the psychological condition of people who have schizophrenia. At the same time, it disrupts the emotional stability of those who have bipolar disorder (Suryadevara et al., 2017). Also, the scholars note that it triggers cognitive impairments and dependence, while Kilmer & MacCoun (2017) state that the use of medical marijuana creates the favorable basis marijuana decriminalization in the US, and its effects are hard to predict. Therefore, since the scope of illegal use of medical marijuana can become uncontrolled and trigger multiple cases of abuse, there is a need for dissuasion.
At the same time, there is a special New York State Medical Marijuana Program that is functioning in the city to address the needs of those patients who suffer from “severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions” (New York State Department of Health, 2018). Such states include cancer, HIV or AIDS, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, and many others (New York State Department of Health, 2018). Therefore, at this point, it is apparent that the right knowledge of the implementation of medical marijuana in cases when the patients are indeed eligible for its use creates the agenda of the relevance of this topic to nursing education and practice.
The use of medical marijuana can affect nursing if the healthcare professionals lack awareness regarding its proper utilization. To be able to serve the needs of such patients, the Nurse Practitioners have to be qualified to work with people who experience severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions, having a special license and certification, complete a Commissioner-approved course, and possess a registration in the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) (New York State Department of Health, 2018). It is evident that the rightful use of medical marijuana is favorable for some types of patients, yet the Nurse Practitioners have to oversee its use and report all illegal cases.
- Kilmer, B., & MacCoun, R. J. (2017). How medical marijuana smoothed the transition to marijuana legalization in the United States. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 13, 181-202.
- New York State Department of Health. (2018). New York State Medical Marijuana Program. Information for Patients. New York State Department of Health, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/. Accessed December 4, 2018.
- New York State Department of Health. (2018). New York State Medical Marijuana Program. Practitioner Information. New York State Department of Health, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/practitioner/. Accessed December 4, 2018.
- Suryadevara, U., M Bruijnzeel, D., Nuthi, M., A Jagnarine, D., Tandon, R., & W Bruijnzeel, A. (2017). Pros and cons of medical cannabis use by people with chronic brain disorders. Current Neuropharmacology, 15(6), 800-814.