A Medical Approach to Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

I don’t do any drugs of any kind. As far as I’m concerned, doing illegal drugs is like throwing your life away. And even if some drugs become legal in a state where I live – as has already happened in some other states – you won’t find me doing them. But that doesn’t mean that I’m closed-minded about reasonable applications of drugs and their active ingredients. So I’m intrigued by the medical marijuana debate. My only concern, though, is whether medical marijuana is just a stepping-stone to full legalization, and is being abused by people in states that have legalized medical uses but not recreational ones. Is medical marijuana for real?

Medical marijuana is very real. Though it took some time before it was embraced as widely as it currently is, the evidence that marijuana could be used to help sick people has been around for some time – though fully establishing it was a tricky thing to do when marijuana was more strictly illegal!

Marijuana remains technically illegal on the federal level, but changes in state laws have accelerated important studies and have allowed doctors to begin treating patients with marijuana and marijuana-derived medicines, such as CBD oil.

At this point, studies have established marijuana’s effectiveness as a medicine rather convincingly. That helps explain why the idea of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes enjoys more popular support than the idea of legalizing it for recreational purposes (88% support medical marijuana, while 61% support legalizing recreational use).

Marijuana can be used to treat a wide variety of symptoms. It is most commonly used for conditions like chronic pain and nausea.

So far, medical marijuana is legal in 29 states (including the 8 states that have legalized recreational use as well). While it would be wrong to say that medical marijuana has never been abused by those looking for an illegal path to recreational drugs, the evidence suggests the effect on overall illegal use is limited. And the success of marijuana as a medicine has been life-changing for those who need it.

Marijuana’s medical properties, naturally, do tend to enter discussions about its broader legality. But there is nothing wrong with opposing marijuana recreational use while embracing its medicinal use and potential.

“Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.” – Joan Didion

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