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There has been a long standing debate whether marijuana is healthy and should be legalized or not. Now, marijuana has always been viewed as a “harmful”, “unhealthy” and “illegal” drug. However, it’s just our ignorance which has given rise to this fallacy. Yes, marijuana can be addictive but is it really as bad as cigarette? The answer here is a resounding “No”! Studies have shown that smoking marijuana has no significant health risk. Even though it has been smoked all over the world there has been no reported cases of lung cancer or emphysema due to marijuana. According to a researcher, breathing a poor quality air poses more threat than a dose of marijuana.

Physician’s point of view

Researches have shown that medical use of marijuana can cure diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer and cure pain as well. Now medical use of marijuana can decrease the use of narcotics and also the addiction to painkillers that are more harmful. According to physicians, marijuana is a medicine and it should be treated as a medicine. Nausea, vomiting, loss of weight, insomnia, depression are very common among the cancer patients and marijuana is a very effective medicine here as it increases appetite and decreases nausea.

Medical marijuana- the legality

Even though twenty-nine states have legalized the medical use and eight states have approved the recreational use, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, where Schedule I substances are considered to have a high potential for dependency and no accepted medical use, making distribution of marijuana a federal offense. The medical marijuana control program is conducted jointly by the commerce department, pharmacy board and state medical board. Now, regulators are working hard to set up regulations and guidelines for cultivators, processors, testing labs, dispensaries and patients along with the review of the application for licences. Now the law here dictates that patients who will meet the 21 conditions (like- cancer or chronic pain) will be allowed to use medicinal marijuana. The patients can use them in the form of edibles, oil, patches and vapor. Here a patient will be allowed to have 90 day supply at once.

Addiction

This is the biggest concern regarding the legalization of marijuana.  But this addiction is not generic like smoking or drinking. Also, unlike smokers people do not take marijuana on a daily basis and mostly abandon this habit in their twenties or thirties.

The fight is on

ACP (American College of Physicians) has urged the government to review the status of marijuana as a controlled substance and reclassify it in to a more appropriate schedule due to its medicinal benefits. ACP also condemns the rule of criminal prosecution, civic liability or professional sanctioning such as loss of licence of physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with the state law. Besides, ACP also urges protection for the patients.

Lastly, the fight may have been won at the state level but in the federal level there is still a long way to go. But the medical benefits that are coming forward may turn the tide in favor.

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