The Debate On Medical Marijuana
There has been much debate over the years about the medical benefits of marijuana. The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. Drugs considered Schedule I are reported to have a high potential for abuse, are listed as having no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and may not be prescribed.
Many feel that medical marijuana should be reclassified as a Schedule II drug which may be legally prescribed. Schedule II drugs are still considered to have a high potential for abuse, considered to have a high potential for psychological or physical dependence, but are available with prescription. They are also considered to have accepted medical uses.
Several states have legalized marijuana for medical use. These state laws have been at odds with the federal laws. President Obama said during the campaign that states should make their own rules on medical marijuana. Four marijuana clubs in the Los Angeles area were raided by federal agents in early February.
The federal government has not recognized state laws that legalized marijuana for medicinal use. However, in a press conference this past week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Michele Leonhart by his side, told reporters that President Barack Obama will hold true to his campaign promises and that fed-led raids of cannabis clubs operating legally under state laws will come to a close.
There is increasing evidence that marijuana is of some benefit for easing pain and nausea and in some case improving appetite in chronic disease states. The states that do allow medical marijuana use limit it to debilitating medical conditions (ie cancer, glaucoma, or positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, etc), or patients whose chronic disease condition or its treatment produces side effects/symptoms that are difficult to treat (ie cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, etc)