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Medical marijuana

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Medical marijuana is used as a form of herbal therapy which is recommended for chronic pain or nausea. Also knows as medicinal cannabis, it consists of flowers and subtending leaves and stalks of mature pistillate of female parts.

Fourteen states have enacted laws legalizing medical marijuana. [1]



Medical marijuana ("cannabis") has been used as medicine since between 2,000 and 5,000 B.C. in China. The U.S. Pharmacopoeia, a non-governmental agency setting standards for prescription and over-the-county medicines, rejected cannabis as form of treatment in 1942.[2]

In 1972, cannabis was placed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act because the U.S. government considered it to have "no accepted medical use in treatment". [3]Currently, 14 of 50 U.S. states have approved the medical use of marijuana for qualified patients.[4] These include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington.

Proponents of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for conditions such as cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, migraines, glaucoma, and epilepsy.

Opponents of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana has addictive properties resulting in harder drug use (some refer to marijuana as the gateway drug), injury to the lungs, damage to the immune system, harm to the cerebrum, and can interfere with fertility.

Legal Developments About Marijuana

Californians will be voting on ballot initiative 09-0024, entitled "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010," on November 2, 2010.[5] If approved, this ballot measure allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for recreational use. Local government could regulate and tax commercial production and sale of cannabis to users 21 years old or older.[6]

California was the first jurisdiction to legalize medicinal marijuana in 1996. Subsequently, 13 states followed California's lead even though marijuana remains illegal under federal law.[7]

Now, hospitals operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs will allow their patients to be treated with medical marijuana. The Department has issued a written directive permitting the use of medical marijuajna in states where the treatment is legalized.[8] States are also exploring the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. According to FinLaw.com, currently 16 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws, although federal law makes no such exceptions from the current drug prohibition policy.[9]

Local and State Developments About Medical Marijuana

The City of Los Angeles enacted an ordinance forcing more than 400 medical marijuana outlets to close and several others to relocate. The new ordinance forbids dispensaries from being located within 1,000 feet of "sensitive use" areas such as schools, churches and parks.[10] 

Along the same vein, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed two bills into law applying additional regulations to the state-wide medical marijuana industry. Senate Bill 109 permits only examining physicians to prescribe marijuana within the context of a doctor-patient relationship. House Bill 1284 contains additional regulations for dispensaries and enables voters to ban marijuana outlets through a local initiative process.[11]


  1. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881
  2. http://www.phillynorml.org/medijuana/cannabis/medical
  3. http://www.theory.caltech.edu/people/patricia/scisoc.html
  4. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000140
  5. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ccrov/pdf/2009/september/09157km.pdf
  6. http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/initiatives/pdfs/i821_title_and_summary_09-0024_a1s.pdf
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/25/california-pot-legalizati_n_512788.html
  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/health/policy/24veterans.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
  9. http://public.findlaw.com/healthcare/medical-marijuana-laws-by-state.html
  10. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/me-pot-crackdown-20100608,0,244846.story
  11. http://www.kqed.org/news/story.jsp?id=30058

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