There are both pros and cons when it comes to medical marijuana use, with some supporting this movement and others who are dead set against it. A lack of widely available studies on the drug because of the federal government and marijuana prohibition advocates has left this treatment option in limbo for some who do not live in states with medical marijuana laws.
Medical Marijuana Use and the Federal Government
Under the federal government, medical marijuana use is illegal, and the feds do not accept any legitimate use for this drug because it is classified as a Schedule I drug along with heroin and other very dangerous substances. In spite of requests to review this classification the federal government refuses to do so.
This means that the federal government could still prosecute someone who lives in a state that recognizes medical marijuana, and who qualifies under their state law. Even in states that have MM programs users can still be fired for a positive drug test because employers rationalize that the drug is illegal under federal law.
While we are talking the government let’s take a hard look at how the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) looks at marijuana and other drugs. As we said, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug.
Here is exactly how the DEA defines Schedule I drugs.
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
In contrast, did you know that the DEA lists methamphetamines, methadone, and oxycodone as Schedule II drugs? Yes, the DEA in all its glory has determined that the cannabis plant is more dangerous than those drugs. Go figure!
Different Physicians Have Differing Views on This Drug
One possible drawback to medical marijuana use is the physician used. Some doctors are willing to keep an open mind and accept that cannabis has medical uses while other physicians consider the use of medical marijuana unacceptable. Patients have a right to the best treatment possible regardless of the views of their physician.
Medical Marijuana Shows Promise for Treating Many Mental and Physical Conditions
A number of studies have shown that medical marijuana use is legitimate. Marijuana has been shown to reduce anxiety, relieve PTSD symptoms, manage pain, provide a better life quality for those with debilitating conditions, help with nausea, and even laws and cancerous tumors in the body yet the federal government refuses to recognize this.
Marijuana usually has Far Fewer Side Effects and Less Risks than Other Drugs
Some of the arguments against medical marijuana use are that there are other drugs that are legal according to the federal government that can be used instead to treat the patient. Other drugs often involve unpleasant side effects and even dangerous risks that are not seen with cannabis, yet some physicians and the federal government insist that these options are a better choice.
No One has Ever Died from a Marijuana Overdose
One factual argument for medical marijuana use is that no one has ever overdosed and died on this drug, something that cannot be said about most of the pharmaceutical options available. Pain medications can be habit forming, they interfere with various systems in the body, and they can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health. This is not typically true with marijuana.
Marijuana may not Work Well for Everyone
One potential drawback with medical marijuana use is that every individual and case is different and this treatment is not a one size fits all solution. A small percentage of individuals may find that marijuana does not work or there are laws, and this is true with any drug because a small percentage of the population may not respond as expected.
Although it is rare, some people that have tried cannabis have found that they become paranoid or experience panic attacks or anxiety. This usually can be alleviated with lower doses or different strains.
The Availability and Cost of Marinol
One of the arguments against medical marijuana use is that the synthetic THC drug Marinol is available and has been approved by the federal government. This drug does not contain most of the compounds found in the cannabis plant though, and it can be very expensive. Marinol contains synthetic THC but not any of the many other volatile compounds like terpenes and flavonoids that also have health benefits.
Using marijuana for medical purposes has both pros and cons, and each patient needs to evaluate these carefully before deciding whether marijuana is the right treatment for their conditions and situation.