TED Conversations

Neil Deatherage

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed.

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?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 21 2012: I think that marijuana should absolutely be an option medicinal treatment for illnesses like cancer. If the benefits from using medical marijuana are justified then there should be no reason that people can't use it for medicinal reasons. However, I think that people take advantage of this capability to obtain marijuana in some states. Therefore, cannabis should be more heavily regulated and distributed to people who would actually benefit from it and are not just trying to use it for recreational purposes. For instance, I know in California almost anyone can obtain medical marijuana. You could be having back pains and receive it without question. As far as the use of marijuana for medicinal reasons, its distribution does need to be more controlled to prevent this from happening. On that note, I do think the drug has a place in today's medical society, but its place in recreational society is a whole other subject.
    • thumb
      May 21 2012: I agree that marijuana should be made legal for medicinal purposes. After seeing and hearing stories of people going through cancer anything to ease their pain makes sense to me. I think you are right in saying it has a definite place in today's medical society but should be separated from recreational use. I am wondering if you have any ideas on how medical marijuana could be better regulated?
      • thumb
        May 21 2012: I also agree that medical marijuana has a place in medical society, most of the research I've read only states the absolute benefits to the drug. I agree, as well, that the availability of medical marijuana is tarred by the ease of access for illegal use or non-medicinal purposes and this image is used as a tool for proponents against medical marijuana and limits the potential for marijuana use for medicinal purposes. . Stricter regulation of medical marijuana distribution could help to limit this negative view(although I am not personally in favor of regulating marijuana for recreational use). One way to regulate and alter the view of non-medicinal use is to regulate the marijuana dispensaries, this can be as simple as requiring the dispensaries to have a more "pharmacy/medical office" atmosphere instead of a "head shop" atmosphere. The strains of marijuana could be restricted to ones that serve medicinal purposes instead of strains that have a hint of bubble gum or blueberry in them.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.