An introduction to the medical uses of marijuana

Justice Department announced that federal prosecutors would not pursue medical-marijuana users and distributors who comply with state laws, formalizing a policy at which the Obama Administration hinted earlier this year. Currently, 13 states allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from ailments ranging from AIDS to glaucoma, and in Maryland a prescription can soften punishment if a user faces prosecution. But until now those laws didn't provide any protection from federal authorities. As early as B.

An introduction to the medical uses of marijuana

Medical Marijuana and the Supreme Court "Federal authorities should rescind their prohibition of the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients and allow physicians to decide which patients to treat.

Of all the negative consequences of prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use. The American Medical Association AMA was one of the most vocal organizations to testify against the ban, arguing that it would deprive patients of a past, present and future medicine.

Click here for a complete listing of organizations. In addition, a Harvard study found that 44 percent of oncologists had previously advised marijuana therapy to their patients.

A more recent national survey performed by researchers at Providence Rhode Island Hospital found that nearly half of physicians with opinions supported legalizing medical marijuana.

These include the U. Cannabis can be effective in some patients to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and against certain forms of pain. This evidence is enough to justify a change in the law.

After conducting a nearly two-year review of the medical literature, investigators at the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine affirmed: Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range tolerated for other medications.

Federal authorities initially refused to accept the petition until mandated to do so by the US Court of Appeals inand then refused to properly process it until again ordered by the Court in Two years later, Judge Francis Young ruled that the therapeutic use of marijuana was recognized by a respected minority of the medical community, and that it met the standards of other legal medications.

It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record. It is urgent that state legislatures and the federal government act to correct this injustice.

Click here for a summary of state medical marijuana laws.

Introduction to Marijuana: Medical Papers

These laws do not legalize marijuana or alter criminal penalties regarding the possession or cultivation of marijuana for recreational use. Available evidence indicates that these laws are functioning as voters intended, and that reported abuses are minimal. As the votes in these states suggest, the American public clearly distinguishes between the medical use and the recreational use of marijuana, and a majority support legalizing medical use for seriously ill patients.

A March Pew Research Center poll[ 24 ] reported that 73 percent of Americans support making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe, as did a Gallup poll. Click here for a complete listing of polls. Arguably, few other public policy issues share the unequivocal support of the American public as this one.

This fact was affirmed by Justices Stevens, Ginsburg and Souter, who wrote in a concurring opinion: This case does not call on the Court to deprive all such patients of the benefit of the necessity defense to federal prosecution when the case does not involve any such patients. The sad result of this decision is that tens of thousands of seriously ill patients who use marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering no longer have a safe and secure source for their medical marijuana.

NORML calls on our elected officials to correct this injustice and is currently lobbying Congress to legalize marijuana as a medicine. Marihuana the Forbidden Medicine second edition. Yale University Press; B. Is Marijuana the Right Medicine for You?

Woodword told Congress on July 12, It may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial benefit.

Several books explore this issue in further detail. The Science Beyond the Controversy.Pregnant women shouldn't use medical marijuana without first checking with their health care provider. Animal studies have shown that moderate amounts of THC given to pregnant or nursing women could have long-lasting effects on the child.

Getting Started with Medical Marijuana. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical include pain relief — particularly neuropathic pain — nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders.

As of November 21, , 29 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam now legally allow marijuana for personal medical use. Rules surrounding the use of medical marijuana vary by state.

An introduction to the medical uses of marijuana

The first state in the union to legalize the medical use of marijuana was California in with Proposition More states are passing laws that allow people to use medical what does it treat, and who can and should use it?

Pain is the main reason people ask for a prescription, says Barth. Marijuana refers to a drug derived from dried leaves, stems, and flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabis sativa, as it is known scientifically, bears a chemical known as “delta-9 teterahydrocannabinol” (THC in short) that alters mind functions of the user (Cohen, ).

The argument against the medical use of marijuana presented most often to the IOM study team was that “the medical marijuana movement is a Trojan horse”; that is, it is a deceptive tactic used by advocates of marijuana decriminalization who would exploit the public's sympathy for seriously ill patients.

Marijuana and Cannabis: Effects, Uses and Legalization -