TED Conversations

Neil Deatherage


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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 22 2012: I feel that, at least in west coast cities, Cannabis has already been accepted as an alternative medicine. In Oregon it seems like almost anyone can get a medical card. The only legal issues that seem to come about with medical marijuana in Oregon is the closing of dispensaries, but even this is minor because there are so many in the major cities. I'm sure medical marijuana is much more taboo in other states, but it seems to me like a good amount of North American's have already accepted/embraced marijuana's medicinal value.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.