Many drugs approved for chronic pain, like opioids, do not have evidence to support long-term use. This is the class of drugs that has shown to be tremendously dangerous. Only recently, researchers printed a paper making the arguments that the deaths from opioid painkillers are much lower in the states that have approved the use of medical marijuana. It is because of this, marijuana’s benefits seem to greatly outweigh the possible harms for individuals who have vomiting, and nausea caused by chemotherapy, or intractable and severe pain from illnesses that are chronic that do not respond to other therapies. But individuals who are in those categories are not typically the ones who are asking for medical marijuana.
Large majority of people who ask for a doctor’s authorization for marijuanado not have glaucoma, cancer, or other illnesses that are serious. In Oregon, it is stated that “severe pain” is stated as a problemneeding treatment in 93% of patients, but fewer than 6% having cancer. Most patients are using prescriptions for those conditions where cannabis is clearly not effective, and for symptoms that are quite subjective and possibly faked.
When Prohibition was enabled, one of the ways to get alcohol was to get a prescription from a doctor. In 1921, analliance of doctors, brewers, and the public tried to lobby Congress saying that beer was “vital medicine” The “American Medical Association didn’t agree; using the arguments theynow use for arguing that marijuana should not be given out as therapy. They are saying it has not proven to work, that it is not a targeted therapy that many people who ask for it do not meet strict standards and that doctors should not be allowed to give it out.
Promising research remains that might support possible use of marijuana in certain areas. For other sicknesses, further studying should be needed to defend any prescriptions. Should marijuana become legal, it’s likely that much of these debates will just go away, as they did for alcohol.