Exploring Ethical Issues of Medical Marijuana

Guest Blog Post

Ethical issues concerning the medical use of marijuana involve whether it is likely for the advantages to exceed its associated risks. Several physicians giving recommendations explore the boundaries of the medical community.

There was a pressure between considering free options and limiting freedom to exclude infliction. It can be considered whether it is morally appropriate for the government to restrain the use of several substances to treat several health concerns. It measures whether the government limitations on medical cannabis is ethically acceptable. 

The ethical issues on drug scheduling

Although medical cannabis has been legalized in most of the states, it has not yet succeeded for federal recognition. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still categorizes marijuana seeds, leaves, buds, and other derived products with a Schedule I classification, showing that it has a vital risk but without medical benefits.  

Considering that marijuana can be practiced as an effective treatment, is legislation forbidding its use or prescription justified ethically? Another way of speculating about the discussion is as a dispute between whether marijuana should be a Schedule I or Schedule II drug

  • Schedule I Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.

Some examples of substances listed in Schedule I are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), peyote, methaqualone, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (“Ecstasy”).

  • Schedule II/IIN Controlled Substances (2/2N)

Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Examples of Schedule II narcotics include hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), methadone (Dolophine®), meperidine (Demerol®), oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), and fentanyl (Sublimaze®, Duragesic®).  Other Schedule II narcotics include morphine, opium, codeine, and hydrocodone.

Examples of Schedule IIN stimulants include amphetamine (Dexedrine®, Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), and methylphenidate (Ritalin®).

Other Schedule II substances include: amobarbital, glutethimide, and pentobarbital.

Debates on legalization

Many discussions have been raised for and against legalizing marijuana. It is to focus on the morality of marijuana use, rather than the law. Most of the debates against cannabis are concentrated on the use of the drug for escapism and enjoyment. Is it morally right or wrong to smoke sleestack and be “high”? 

Furnishing a clarification to this predicament is not as easy as looking out the wrongness of crimes such as murder or rape. Therefore, the marijuana dispute cannot be handled on comparable platforms as these offenses and needs a profound analysis to identify the ethical rightness, wrongness, or neutrality of the practice. 

Ethical issues between doctor and patients

Other moral circumstances are what happens to the patient-doctor connection in medical marijuana programs. Since numerous healthcare systems will not permit physicians to prescribe a substance that is not recognized by the Food and Drug Administration and not classified by hospitals or pharmacies, many of the attending practitioners recommending the medical use of marijuana work on the margins of the medical community.

While some recommendations for medical marijuana do happen in the setting of an organized physician-patient relationship, the available testimony suggests that most references occur in a connection directed on the advice of cannabis. Many physicians promote that they practice in medical marijuana recommendations. These patterns narrow the physician-patient relevance to the provision of an otherwise prohibited substance.

The ethical issue in clinical settings

Numerous medical firms deal with these matters by giving the medical attendant the option to withdraw assistant for a patient if a circumstance arises that breaks their religious or moral beliefs. However, this is only true in situations where a patient is in no danger. 

While the subject of marijuana use is still uncertain today, several states in the US have established laws to legalize medical marijuana. As more countries are commencing to participate in these waves of legalization, it is relevant for medical staff to understand both the pros and cons so they can view their ethical opinion on the issue.

Issues on insurance and claims

As more patients choose this alternative therapy, potential transplant recipients will inevitably disclose their cannabis use through transplant evaluation. Transplant teams are tasked with the choice to utilize a constraint resource, often with small supervision from international and national professional organizations. Many healthcare providers remain unenlightened or misinformed about the uncertainties of cannabis use and organ transplantation. 

The contrariety in legitimacy within the state and federal levels has generated various difficulties for patients and physicians, as well as for medical businesses that must adjust to the conflicting edicts. One of the several notable challenges that these opposing rules create for patients is the absence or need for insurance coverage for medical cannabis. Payers are sensibly unwilling to include benefits for a drug that is still a Schedule I substance at the federal level. Without health insurance coverage, patients must shoulder the expenses for treatment.

If cannabis is ultimately a recreational drug without any medical benefits, then the policy is logical. Insurance firms should not be compelled to settle for mediations that do not participate in an essential way to health or quality of life.  Indeed, asking insuree to reimburse for recreational cannabis would be comparable to ordering them to shoulder the expenses on other Schedule I drug like tobacco or heroin.


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