Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Kelly

Second Advisor

Dr. Nathan Reyna

Third Advisor

Dr. Margarita Pintado

Abstract

America is known as the land of opportunity. People attempting to better their lives tend to see America as an opportunity to do so. This statement remains true for the American medical field. Americans are known as advanced in treatment options for various diseases. With this being said, there are few diseases that still bring forth complete fear in the minds of the people of America. In spite of this, "You have been diagnosed with cancer" is a statement that generates this fear. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Current treatments for cancer are invasive, expensive, and disheartening for patients. There is a true need for help in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this horrific disease. The medical world has begun turning its attention to marijuana to help fill this gap between cancer and cure. My interest is not on the politics of marijuana, but rather on the potential to improve patients' quality of life. Through the construction and future application of a medical marijuana questionnaire, a qualitative assessment will be made on the effectiveness of medical marijuana. If quality of life for patients is seen to improve with use of medical marijuana, I would like to advocate for the patients and provide them a voice in the medical marijuana discussion. The null hypothesis to this study is that medical marijuana has no effect on a patients' quality of life. My research with Ewing's sarcoma and current literature review on patients' experiences with marijuana and its related cannabinoids lead me to conclude that the null hypothesis is invalid. I believe medical marijuana has the ability to improve the quality of life of patients to which it's prescribed.

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