Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states, and marijuana for personal, non-medical use is legal in two states, Washington and Colorado. The question, at least one question, is: does marijuana have any real medical properties?
Researchers in the UK took a look at that question and published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA.)
Scientists led by Penny Whiting from University Hospitals Bristol in the U.K. report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that there is only moderate-quality evidence supporting the benefits of medical marijuana, and only for certain conditions. The majority of studies involving medical marijuana are of lesser quality and therefore more likely to be biased and provide unreliable results.
In all, Whiting and her colleagues analyzed 79 randomized trials, the gold standard in medical research in which volunteers are randomly assigned to take a cannabis-related product or a placebo. The studies evaluated marijuana’s ability to relieve a range of symptoms including nausea from chemotherapy, loss of appetite among HIV positive patients, multiple sclerosis spasms, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, psychosis and Tourette syndrome. Most of the studies showed improvements among the participants taking the cannabinoid products over those using placebo, but in many, the scientists admitted that they could not be sure that the effect wasn’t simply due to chance since the association was not statistically significant.
They’ve also studied the quality of marijuana in states where it’s legal.
… JAMA reports that the quality and quantity of the cannabis in candies, and other food items varies greatly from the labeling and one item to the next. Medical marijuana is not regulated like a regular pharmaceutical product would be, so there is no consistency.
The whole subject of legal marijuana, for medical purposes or just to get high, is a complicated one. Even though it’s legal for medical purposes in 23 states and legal for any purpose in two, it’s still illegal at the federal level and DEA will happy to bust you and confiscate everything you own for possession or growing.
Marijuana is listed as a “schedule-1 drug” as defined by the Controlled Substances Act. That means, the drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse; the drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
You can form your own opinions about the potential for abuse and the safety for use of marijuana. But we’re certain that the “Controlled Substances Act” is really about one thing. Control. And you can bet the government is all about “control,” the question is, what do they want to control?
Probably not the “substances.”