Medical marijuana is legal in some states, but federal laws and state laws are still at odds over the issue. According to a recent article in Fortune magazine, over half of U.S. states have legalized or are considering legalizing the medical use of pot, but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration all say that marijuana doesn’t have a currently accepted medical use. In the past, this meant that providers were subject to raids by the federal government, and couldn’t use state laws to defend their crimes in court, but under a new act signed by Obama in February, the federal government is no longer able to perform raids on state dispensaries. The Fortune article focuses on the business side of legalizing pot, but we want to know: Do you think it should be legal?
Plenty of people are skeptical — Lee Gerdes, a brain development specialist, argues that states can gain more from legalization than patients: “States like California can grow it to help reduce their taxes, and sell it in order to create an opportunity for medical use. It’s okay that it lives in fat cells for ten years and builds up; it’s okay that in so doing that it destroys one’s ability to sequentially process.” His skepticism was palpable as we spoke to him about the pros and cons of the drug. (See more of Gerdes’ thoughts on how drugs and supplements affect the brain.)
Many say marijuana alleviates chronic pain and disease (including cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and patients with nerve pain caused by AIDS), but doctors are also free to prescribe the meds for mild symptoms like headaches and PMS.
Where do you stand in the debate? Pick a side:
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