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Neil Deatherage

TEDCRED 50+

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Should Cannabis be legalized as a medicine?

The rich biodiversity of plants in nature has provided humans many medicines to prevent and cure sickness and disease. The use of cannabis as a medicine continues to gain acceptance within the scientific and medical community, with Connecticut early this month joining 16 other states to legalize it for medical use. Case studies continue to support the value of cannabis as a medicine to ameliorate various ailments ranging from glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, Parkinson's, chronic pain, and nausea associated with cancer.

Despite scientific evidence supporting medicinal qualities from cannabis, much controversy surrounds outright legalization for medicinal use. While many states currently allow cannabis as an alternative to traditional medicines, the FDA continues to classify cannabis as a schedule I drug subjecting patients to possible fines and/or imprisonment under federal law.

Can cannabis find a place in today's society as an alternative medicine, or are possible unforeseen consequences too great to allow this plant for medicinal use?

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    May 18 2012: With such easy access to the drug on the streets, there is not a tangible risk that there is an enormous unforeseen consequence in the drug itself that we will discover upon its legalization, if we were to take this route. The war on drugs has killed countless people and devastated economies to an unreasonable extent. The effort put into stopping the use of this drug far exceeds the effort that our country puts into preventing much more dangerous products, lifestyles, etc. I think it's time that America faced the facts--there's not a good reason to keep marijuana illegal. Marijuana as a medicine has been proven effective and there is certainly not a good reason not to legalize medicinal marijuana.
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      May 18 2012: While your points about the the drug trade are valid, I have to question whether legalizing the use of marijuana as a prescription drug would do anything to change the war on drugs. Prescription drugs are widely abused and are still a large part of the drug trade. Legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana would only make it more available to the general population. However it isn't as insidious of a drug as say oxycontin, which is a legalized, highly addictive prescription painkiller.

      http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/commonly-abused-prescription-drugs-chart
      • May 19 2012: Oxycontin is far worse from my second had experience than marijuana. It seems to completely numb your ability to think and form logical statements. Marijuana does sometimes get that bad but it requires much more visible signs and often other drugs are thrown into the mix, most comedians seem to have some relationship with illegal drugs during their careers often without huge adverse affects. I feel their is more time for treatment of the marijuana smoker than the Oxycontin patient. If you look at recent celebrities deaths reports, I think most the suicides have Oxycontin in their system(Would like to see better figures if anybody has them than my feelings. I know both Whitney Houston and Micheal Jackson had problems with this drug as well as Rush Limbaugh) I would much rather every patient be told to smoke or eat marijuana than take Oxycontin.

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