Delivery in day(s): 4
NCS1202 Evidence Based Practice in Health Care Assignments
Answer 4 (Conclusion):
From the overall arguments made regarding legalization of marijuana, it can be concluded that marijuana should be legalized because of its benefit in reducing inappropriate medical prescribing for pain relief. The opioid crisis or the overdose of opioid for pain relief is one of the major public health crisis and Vyas, LeBaron and Gilson (2018) gave the indication that by using cannabis or medical marijuana as an alternative therapy for pain management, the problem of prescription opioid medication (POM) can be resolved. This was proved by the examination of state cannabis use laws and policies in US and reviewing its impact on POM use and associated harm. The systematic review of research literature revealed that cannabis law and policy was associated with decreased POM use. The business analysis of the cannabis related law also revealed that cannabis law was associated with reduced admissions for opioid overdose and overdose related deaths. Hence, the evidence provided give rationalize the need to legalize cannabis and use it as a useful substitution for addressing the opioid crisis in health care setting.
Despite the above justification for legalization of marijuana, one of the challenges is that it might lead to issues related to addiction and misuse of the drug. It may have implications on the substance abuse related burden in health care. Once marijuana is legally available, it might increase availability and social acceptance of marijuana among adolescents (Cerdá et al., 2015). However, appropriate implementation of harm reduction strategies such as educating patients about medical marijuana may help to obtain more benefit rather than harm from treatment. Hopfer (2014)argues that the legalizing marijuana would create additional challenges, however this can be addressed by taking proper approach to address perceptions related to the use of marijuana. The role of physicians will be important in this regard as they can play a role in screening adults and providing clear message regarding the medical use and adverse effect of marijuana. In addition, a well-developed and coordinated public health policy response will also be necessary so that claims of medicinal benefits of marijuana are clearly disseminated among target audience.
Hence, it can be concluded that legalization of marijuana should come up with appropriate policy related to effective use of the drug too. This is necessary to eliminate the problem of substance abuse because of overuse of marijuana among adolescents. Salomonsen-Sautel et al. (2012) gave idea regarding the increase in medical marijuana use among adolescents by investigating about the frequency of marijuana use among adolescents in substance abuse treatment. The study revealed that 74% adolescents had used someone else’s medical marijuana. The study also revealed the possibility of diversion of medical marijuana. This issue gives the implication to implement appropriate drug monitoring programs. Physicians can be encourage to provide proper education regarding the addictive and deleterious properties of marijuana before prescribing it to patients. Best practice strategies like assessing for possible risk of diversion and discussing with patients regarding the serious ill-effect of diversion can be done to address challenges associated with legalization of marijuana.
1. Cerdá, M., Wall, M., Keyes, K. M., Galea, S., & Hasin, D. (2012). Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse and dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence, 120(1), 22-27.
2. Hopfer, C. (2014). Implications of Marijuana Legalization for Adolescent Substance Use. Substance Abuse?: Official Publication of the Association for Medical Education and Research Methodology in Substance Abuse, 35(4), 331–335. http://doi.org/10.1080/08897077.2014.943386
3. Salomonsen-Sautel, S., Sakai, J. T., Thurstone, C., Corley, R., & Hopfer, C. (2012). Medical Marijuana Use among Adolescents in Substance Abuse Treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(7), 694–702. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2012.04.004
4. Vyas, M. B., LeBaron, V. T., & Gilson, A. M. (2018). The use of cannabis in response to the opioid crisis: A review of the literature. Nursing outlook, 66(1), 56-65