Pros Of Legal Marijuana
1. Physician Perspectives on Marijuana’s Medical Use
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.”
2. Medical Organizations’ Opinions
“ACP urges review of marijuana’s status as a schedule I controlled substance and its reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence regarding marijuana’s safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions…
ACP strongly supports exemption from federal criminal prosecution; civil liability; or professional sanctioning, such as loss of licensure or credentialing, for physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Similarly, ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws.”
3. US Government Officials’ Views
“The evidence in this record [9-6-88 ruling] clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.”
4. Health Risks of Smoked Marijuana
“There is very little evidence that smoking marijuana as a means of taking it represents a significant health risk.
Although cannabis has been smoked widely in Western countries for more than four decades, there have been no reported cases of lung cancer or emphysema attributed to marijuana.
I suspect that a day’s breathing in any city with poor air quality poses more of a threat than inhaling a day’s dose — which for many ailments is just a portion of a joint — of marijuana.”
5. Treating AIDS with Marijuana
“Patients receiving cannabinoids [smoked marijuana and marijuana pills] had improved immune function compared with those receiving placebo. They also gained about 4 pounds more on average than those patients receiving placebo.”
6. Marijuana For the Terminally Ill
“Consumer Reports believes that, for patients with advanced AIDS and terminal cancer, the apparent benefits some derive from smoking marijuana outweigh any substantiated or even suspected risks.
In the same spirit the FDA uses to hasten the approval of cancer drugs, federal laws should be relaxed in favor of states’ rights to allow physicians to administer marijuana to their patients on a caring and compassionate basis.”
7. Marijuana vs. Marinol
“There are really no other medications that have the same mechanisms of action as marijuana. Dronabinol (Marinol) is available by prescription in capsules, but has the distinct disadvantage of containing only synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is only one of many therapeutically beneficial cannabinoids in the natural plant.”
8. Addictiveness of Marijuana
“For some users, perhaps as many as 10 per cent, cannabis leads to psychological dependence, but there is scant evidence that it carries a risk of true addiction. Unlike cigarette smokers, most users do not take the drug on a daily basis, and usually abandon it in their twenties or thirties.
Unlike for nicotine, alcohol and hard drugs, there is no clearly defined withdrawal syndrome, the hallmark of true addiction, when use is stopped.”
9. “Gateway” Effect
“We’ve shown that the marijuana gateway effect is not the best explanation for the link between marijuana use and the use of harder drugs.
An alternative, simpler and more compelling explanation accounts for the pattern of drug use you see in this country, without resort to any gateway effects. While the gateway theory has enjoyed popular acceptance, scientists have always had their doubts. Our study shows that these doubts are justified.[...]
The people who are predisposed to use drugs and have the opportunity to use drugs are more likely than others to use both marijuana and harder drugs. Marijuana typically comes first because it is more available.”
10. Medical Marijuana Debate and Its Effect on Youth Drug Use
“While it is not possible with existing data to determine conclusively that state medical marijuana laws caused the documented declines in adolescent marijuana use, the overwhelming downward trend strongly suggests that the effect of state medical marijuana laws on teen marijuana use has been either neutral or positive, discouraging youthful experimentation with the drug.”