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Neil Deatherage

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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 21 2012: First off, I am all for medicinal cannabis. There are just too many accounts of people with severe pain who have been helped by medicinal cannabis to humanely oppose the idea. By no means though does this mean that I think our current system is utilizing this drug effectively.

    When a patient is prescribed nearly any other drug, they are prescribed a fixed amount of it to be measured out for them by a pharmacist. Cannabis is considered a schedule I narcotic by the federal government, and because of this cannot be prescribed by a physician (at least not in Oregon). The way our states system works is that a grower is legally able to grow the cannabis for a medicinal card holder. That card holder is legally allowed to posses up to 24 ounces of cannabis, they are legally able to have in their possession 1.5lbs! Anyone who knows anything about the plant knows this is a staggering amount. When the patient is out of the plant they can just go back to the grower and obtain more. This system is flawed, and is creating the ability for people to abuse the drug. If the drug is not going to be legalized and we are going to continue to legally allow it only for medicinal purposes it should be prescribed like any other drug. Source: Oregon Medical Marijuana Program Handbook
    http://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/ChronicDisease/MedicalMarijuanaProgram/Documents/ommpHandbook.pdf

    Personally I think it should just be legalized. The economic benefits are undeniable, and the only dangerous aspect of the drug are legal ramifications created because the plant is illegal. It is a relatively harmless substance (compared to alcohol at least) and frankly seems un-American to tell people they cannot use a plant that naturally grows in this country.
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      May 22 2012: I agree completely, I did not know about all the implementation laws and 1.5 pounds does seem like a large amount. It should be like other prescription drugs where a certain amount is allowed by a physician and the dose is dependent on the need of the patient, not on a universal law saying that everyone with a certain condition can obtain the same amount. The "special" classification of cannabis needs to be taken away and it needs to be adopted within the practice of medicine.

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