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 23 2012: By any consistent standard of substance hazard, cannabis is FAR less dangerous than many legal substances- for example, alcohol.
    The number of deaths in the history of humanity due to marijuana overdose? Still a whopping none, zero, nada.
    So if we as a society were looking to hold all substances to a consistent standard of control, of COURSE cannabis should be allowable as an alternative medicine, and should be treated with similar or less regulation than alcohol in every other sphere!
    But unfortunately we don't hold all substances to a consistent standard, because there is money to be made transforming the medicinal properties of this plant into a pill!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.