12 Smart Sources to Support Your Medical Marijuana Essay

What comes to mind when you hear the words “marijuana user”?

Some people may automatically think Reefer Madness and see the film as an extreme exaggeration of users. Others may see it as a film with some underlying bit of truth to the dangers of marijuana.

Still others may think of a marijuana user as an average person, one who smokes marijuana and who’s no different than the average cigarette smoker.

What about the other type of marijuana user, though? How might you classify the person who doesn’t smoke marijuana for recreational use but instead smokes it for medicinal purposes?

Should marijuana be legal for both recreational use and medicinal use? Should only medical marijuana be legalized? Should all forms of marijuana be illegal?

No matter your stance on the topic, if you’re going to write a medical marijuana essay, it’s a good idea to gather some credible sources to support your paper.

Here are 12 sources to help you get started with the research process.

12 Smart Sources to Support Your Medical Marijuana Essay

medical marijuana essay

The broad topic of medical marijuana lends itself to all types of papers.

You don’t, however, have stick with the argument of whether medical marijuana should be legalized or the pros and cons of medical marijuana legalization (unless that’s actually your required assignment).

Consider different angles on the topic, such as whether children should use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Try writing about stories about marijuana use and how it has affected people (either positively or negatively).

In this type of paper, be sure to use examples from your research—unless, of course, you’re writing a narrative essay. Or you might look at medical marijuana from a scientific angle to examine its properties and varied uses for medicinal purposes.

No matter how you decide to narrow your topic for a medical marijuana essay, it helps to have a broad base of understanding.

In this post, I’ve included 12 marijuana legalization articles that provide some basic facts about the subject, discuss personal stories, examine medical marijuana for kids, and argue against legalization.

I’ve included a brief summary of each article and both an MLA 8 and APA citation to help you with documentation if you decide to use any of these sources in your medical marijuana essay.

Facts and Background Information About Medical Marijuana

Article #1: Medical Marijuana FAQ

WebMD publishes relatively basic, yet credible medical information, and this article provides an overview of medical marijuana. It includes information about how to obtain medical marijuana, where it’s legal, and how it can be used to treat various medical problems.

MLA 8 Citation

“Medical Marijuana FAQ.” WebMD, www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/medical-marijuana-faq#1.

APA Citation

Medical marijuana FAQ. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/medical-marijuana-faq#1

Article #2: Marijuana as Medicine

This article states that the marijuana plant is not considered medicine and isn’t legal. However, chemicals in the plant (called cannabinoids) are permitted in two FDA-approved medicines.

Because this article is published on a government website, it’s a credible website for a research essay.

MLA 8 Citation

“Marijuana as Medicine.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine.

APA Citation

Marijuana as medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine

medical marijuana essay

Article #3: Medical Marijuana in the U.S. – Statistics & Facts

Published by Statista, “…one of the leading statistics companies on the internet,” this resource includes a brief overview of medical marijuana. It includes a variety of statistics, such as the number of cannabis businesses in the United States, the average price of marijuana per gram, and in which states it’s legal to smoke marijuana.

MLA 8 Citation

“Medical Marijuana in the U.S. – Statistics & Facts.” Statista.com. www.statista.com/topics/3064/medical-marijuana-in-the-us/.

APA Citation

Medical marijuana in the U.S. – Statistics & facts.” (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/topics/3064/medical-marijuana-in-the-us/

Personal Stories and Opinions About Marijuana Legalization

Article #4: Medical Marijuana: Planting Green to Make Green?

This editorial, written by the Bristol Herald Courier staff, encourages readers to consider whether marijuana legalization might be good for the Bristol, Virginia, area.

The writers suggest that legalization could bring new jobs to the area (while other manufacturing jobs are disappearing) and that legalization could also lead to a decrease in opioid-related deaths and overdoses.

MLA 8 Citation

“Medical Marijuana: Planting Green to Make Green?” Bristol Herald Courier, 21 Sep. 2017, www.heraldcourier.com/opinion/medical-marijuana-planting-green-to-make-green/article_2118a5c8-c1f7-5a3d-882d-9cadd2ca08d3.html.

APA Citation

Medical marijuana: Planting green to make green? (2017, September 21). Bristol Herald Courier. Retrieved from http://www.heraldcourier.com/opinion/medical-marijuana-planting-green-to-make-green/article_2118a5c8-c1f7-5a3d-882d-9cadd2ca08d3.html

Article #5: Adventures in Medical Marijuana With My 80-Year-Old Mother

Page Barnes is keeping a journal to chronicle the journey that she and her mother travel as her mother faces a terminal lung cancer diagnosis. This article is Part II of the journal.

In the article, the writer talks about how she and her mother visit a dispensary seeking the cannabidiol recommended by her mother’s doctor. The article doesn’t advocate for or against marijuana legalization. It also doesn’t state whether her mother has been helped by the drug. This article merely describes their journey.

MLA 8 Citation

Barnes, Page. “Adventures in Medical Marijuana with My 80-Year-Old Mother.” HuffPost.com, Oath Inc., 19 Oct. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/adventures-in-medical-marijuana-with-my-80-year-old_us_59e8e14fe4b077c789918b5e.

APA Citation

Barnes, P. (2017). Adventures in medical marijuana with my 80-year-old mother. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/adventures-in-medical-marijuana-with-my-80-year-old_us_59e8e14fe4b077c789918b5e

medical marijuana essay
“E-Cigarette” by Vaping360.com (CC BY 2.0)

Article #6: Medical Marijuana: A Personal Story, a Personal Tragedy

The writer of this article tells the story of Daryl Bertrand. Bertrand was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in 2003.

After 18 months of continued suffering with traditional painkillers (which led to liver failure), Bertrand began growing cannabis to help with pain. After breaking his back in 2008 and having two surgeries, Bertrand continued his use of cannabis.

When Bertrand took his computer in for repairs after it contracted a virus, the computer repair company alerted the police about pictures of Bertrand’s marijuana plants found on the computer.

Police obtained a warrant and thought they would seize plants and shut down an illegal business. Bertrand and his wife eventually pleaded guilty to growing (not selling) marijuana, paid a fine, and were put on probation.

Both Bertrand and his wife struggled to find work, and he’s no longer able to grow or use cannabis. He argues that use of marijuana, for him, is not about recreation but about survival. He feels that the laws surrounding marijuana and its legalization are unjust.

MLA 8 Citation

Ventimiglia, Jack. “Medical Marijuana: A Personal Story, A Personal Tragedy.” Daily Star-Journal, NPG Printing, 18 Sep. 2014, www.dailystarjournal.com/news/local/medical-marijuana-a-personal-story-a-personal-tragedy/article_dd44543f-53ed-5f77-9b17-cb3151eacc64.html.

APA Citation

Ventimiglia, J. (2014, September 18). Medical marijuana: A personal story, a personal tragedy. Daily Star-Journal. Retrieved from http://www.dailystarjournal.com/news/local/medical-marijuana-a-personal-story-a-personal-tragedy/article_dd44543f-53ed-5f77-9b17-cb3151eacc64.html

Children and Medical Marijuana

medical marijuana essay

Article #7: Pot Kids

Published by the respected news magazine Time, this article tells the story of several families who use medical marijuana to treat their children’s illnesses (generally epileptic seizures).

Though some doctors agree on the potential benefits of the drug, many are concerned that not all children are helped by the drug. Many doctors also worry that, because marijuana sales often aren’t strictly regulated, parents could be putting their children in danger.

This article also links to a short documentary about children and medical marijuana.

MLA 8 Citation

Pickert, Kate. “Pot Kids.” Time, 2017, www.time.com/pot-kids/.

APA Citation

Pickert, K. (2017). Pot kids. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/pot-kids/

Article #8: Medical Marijuana for Kids?

This article highlights the cases of several children and their parents who have turned to marijuana when all other more conventional medicines have failed.

Even though some states allow medical marijuana, the federal government still doesn’t recognize marijuana as a legal drug. Some doctors, however, feel that the drug should be considered (on a case-by-case basis) to determine whether it would be not only safe but also beneficial for minors.

MLA 8 Citation

Swartz, Aimee. “Medical Marijuana for Kids?” The Scientist, 17 July 2013. www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/36576/title/Medical-Marijuana-for-Kids-/.

APA Citation

Swartz, A. (2013, July 17). Medical marijuana for kids? The Scientist. Retrieved from http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/36576/title/Medical-Marijuana-for-Kids-/

Article #9: Parents Demand Medical Marijuana for Epileptic Kids

Children who are using medical marijuana to help alleviate seizures are the focus of this article. Medical professionals aren’t in agreement as to whether cannabidiol (CBD) is safe and effective for children. But parents who have treated their epileptic children with medical marijuana advocate for legalization.

This article also links to several short videos and articles about the subject.

MLA 8 Citation

Talamo, Lex, Calah Kelley, and Nick Swyter. “Parents Demand Medical Marijuana for Epileptic Kids.” NBC.com, 18 Aug. 2015,  www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/parents-demand-medical-marijuana-epileptic-kids-n411186.

APA Citation

Talamo, L., Kelley, C., & Swyter, N. (2015). Parents demand medical marijuana for epileptic kids. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/parents-demand-medical-marijuana-epileptic-kids-n411186

Articles Against Medical Marijuana Legalization

medical marijuana essay

Article #10: An Argument Against Legalizing Marijuana

Though the author of this opinion piece acknowledges that marijuana legalization would regulate the drug and possibly increase federal revenues, he ultimately argues against legalization.

His reasons for opposing legalization include the possibility of increased human costs, which include dependency and increased marijuana consumption.

MLA 8 Citation

Chapman, Robert J. “An Argument Against Legalizing Marijuana.” Higher Education Center, 18 Feb. 2016, www.hecaod.osu.edu/an-argument-against-legalizing-marijuana/.

APA Citation

Chapman, R. J. (2016). An argument against legalizing marijuana. Retrieved from http://www.hecaod.osu.edu/an-argument-against-legalizing-marijuana/

Article #11: Ten Reasons to Vote Against Medical Marijuana in Florida

This article explains 10 reasons that Kevin Sabet believes medical marijuana should not be legalized. Sabet is a University of Florida professor and the director of the drug policy institute at the university. Sabet is also co-founder and director of Smarter Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).

Among Sabet’s reasons for arguing against legalization are the potential risks to children as attitudes toward marijuana soften, the idea that other medical alternatives exist, and the fact that the petition (in Florida) wasn’t crafted by medical professionals.

MLA 8 Citation

Swanson, Jess. “Ten Reasons to Vote Against Medical Marijuana in Florida.” Broward Palm Beach New Times, 1 Apr. 2014, www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/ten-reasons-to-vote-against-medical-marijuana-in-florida-6448172.

APA Citation

Swanson, J. (2014, April 1). Ten reasons to vote against medical marijuana in Florida. Broward Palm Beach New Times. Retrieved from http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/ten-reasons-to-vote-against-medical-marijuana-in-florida-6448172

Article #12: Pediatricians Oppose Medical Marijuana, With Some Exceptions

This article explains the stance of leading pediatricians regarding medical marijuana. They believe that, overall, the drug should not be legalized due to its potential risks.

The pediatricians do acknowledge, however, that in some instances the chemical compounds in marijuana may be used to successfully treat patients. They emphasize that further studies must be done.

MLA 8 Citation

Rettner, Rachael. “Pediatricians Oppose Medical Marijuana, with Some Exceptions.” LiveScience.com, 26 Jan. 2015, www.livescience.com/49565-marijuana-legalization-aap.html.

APA Citation

Rettner, R. (2015). Pediatricians oppose medical marijuana, with some exceptions. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/49565-marijuana-legalization-aap.html

Writing the Essay

medical marijuana essay

Once you’ve narrowed your topic and have located sufficient sources to support your medical marijuana essay, it’s time to write your paper.

Here are two resources to help you put your ideas together.

Looking for a completed essay for inspiration? Check out these example medical marijuana essays from the Kibin database.

Finished with your essay but need a little more help with the finishing touches? Let the editors at Kibin review your work to help make sure it’s the best it can be.

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.