Medical Marijuana - The Debate Rages On
Pot is also known as pot, sod and marijuana but its formal name is actually cannabis. It comes from the
leaves and flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. It is considered an illegal substance in the usa and many
countries and possession of pot is a crime punishable by law. The FDA classifies pot as Schedule I,
substances which have got a high potential for abuse and have no proven medical use. Over the years
several studies claim that some substances found in pot have healing use, especially in port diseases
such as cancer and AIDS. This started a fierce debate over the pros and cons of the use of medical pot.
To settle this debate, the Institute of Medicine published the famous 1999 IOM report entitled Pot and
Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. The report was comprehensive but did not give a clear cut yes or
no answer. Another camps of the medical pot issue often tell of part of the report in their advocacy
arguments. However, although the report clarified many things, it never settled the controversy forever.
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Let's look at the conditions that support why medical pot should be legalized.
(1) Pot is a naturally occurring herb and has been used from South america to Asia as an herbal medicine
for millennia. In nowadays when the all pure, organic are important health buzzwords, a naturally
occurring herb like pot might be more inviting to and safer for consumers than man made drugs.
(2) Pot has strong therapeutic potential. Several studies, as summarized in the IOM report, have
observed that cannabis can be used as analgesic, e. g. to treat pain. A few studies showed that THC, a
pot component is effective in treating chronic pain experienced by cancer patients. However, studies on
serious pain such as those experienced during surgery and injury have undetermined reports. A few
studies, also summarized in the IOM report, have demonstrated that some pot components have
antiemetic properties and are, therefore, effective a