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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 23 2012: The majority of the responses favor the legalization of medical marijuana. My greatest concern about this is the regulation. I believe that the only way for medical marijuana to ever gain true acceptance, true pharmaceutical grade regulation must occur. This would mean that clinical trials would need to be conducted and the quality of the product would need to be ensured. Many dispensaries currently get their medical marijuana from backyard growers which puts the customers at risk for buying a below grade product. In addition, the current trend of passing out prescriptions without due cause also takes away from the effort. Both prescription pills and medical marijuana cards are abused which significantly detracts from the legalization of medical marijuana as it already has a negative connotation.

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