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 believe that people should have the ability to take cannabis if they wish, but that the growing/sales of it should be highly regulated and taxed. I think the government could take this as an opportunity to make money to benefit things like medical research and other good causes. With all of the medicinal marijuana clinics there already are, there is obviously a demand for the drug, so there is money to be made. The government could research the medicinal benefits of marijuana and its side effects and then regulate and distribute it to the public.
    • thumb
      May 21 2012: I agree with you that cannabis should be legalized but heavily taxed. I would argue though, that the money should be used to improve the country's economic situation as opposed to medical research. There absolutely is demand for cannabis, be it for medicinal or recreational purposes. Overall the effects of recreational use of cannabis don't seem to be much worse than tobacco or alcohol, and it certainly has medicinal value. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be presented as an option for medical treatment. I agree that it needs to be regulated, as with tobacco and alcohol, and the short term and long term effects need to be made clear to the people. But with the demand for marijuana and hemp as high as it is, legalization for medical and recreational use could potentially significantly improve the country's economic situation.
    • thumb
      May 22 2012: I completely agree with you Lisa. If we take a look at this issue in a broader less medical context there is great potential to make a lot of money via taxation and regulation. I also agree that with it's already known sources of medicinal value further research should be done on plants that belong to the same family as cannabis to see if any of these other plants hold as much potential. I would also find it interesting that since a couple other quite infamous drugs are also derived directly from plants or fungi, if research on possible medicinal properties they might have as well.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.