EVIDENCE BASE IN DESIGN
When politics and medical science intersect, there can be much debate. Sometimes anecdotes or hearsay are misused as evidence to support a particular point. Despite these and other challenges, however, evidence-based approaches are increasingly used to inform health policy decision-making regarding causes of disease, intervention strategies, and issues impacting society. One example is the introduction of childhood vaccinations and the use of evidence-based arguments surrounding their safety.
In this Discussion, you will identify a recently proposed health policy and share your analysis of the evidence in support of this policy.
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Expert Solution Preview
Evidence-based approaches play a significant role in informing health policy decision-making related to causes of diseases, intervention strategies, and societal issues. The use of evidence-based arguments surrounding the safety of childhood vaccinations is an excellent example of how evidence-based approaches can inform health policies. In the following content, we will analyze the evidence in support of a recently proposed health policy.
The recently proposed health policy is related to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana has several traditional and modern medicinal applications, and its legalization for medicinal purposes has become a topic of debate worldwide. The evidence in support of this policy shows that marijuana has therapeutic potential in treating pain, nausea, and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Evidence also suggests that marijuana may have a positive effect on neuroprotection and may help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
Research studies have found that marijuana may be beneficial to relieve neuropathic pain associated with MS. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, researchers found that oral ingestion of cannabis extract and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduced neuropathic pain associated with MS. Similarly, evidence also suggests that marijuana can be used to decrease chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. A systematic review of randomized control trials found that marijuana is a highly effective antiemetic, and its use can significantly reduce nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
Moreover, marijuana has shown to have positive effects on mental health. Studies suggest that THC intake may help alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. In addition, research has found that marijuana has neuroprotective effects and may help improve sleep quality. Evidence also suggests that marijuana may help reduce inflammation associated with various diseases and may have potential as an immunosuppressive agent.
In conclusion, the evidence in support of the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes is substantial. Studies have found that marijuana has therapeutic potential in treating pain, nausea, spasticity, neuroprotection, and mental health issues. Its medicinal properties can have positive impacts on individuals’ well-being and quality of life. Therefore, the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes can be a viable health policy decision.