Medical Marijuana

July 21, 2017 • Volume 27, Issue 26
Does cannabis offer health benefits?
By Barbara Mantel


A conventiongoer visits a booth at the fourth annual Cannabis World Congress (Getty Images/Spencer Platt)
A conventiongoer visits a booth at the fourth annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition in New York City on June 16, 2017. The trade show attracts growers, dispensaries, doctors and others involved in the use of legal recreational and medical marijuana. Medical marijuana's effectiveness remains hotly debated. (Getty Images/Spencer Platt)

Americans overwhelmingly approve of medical marijuana, and 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized it, allowing doctors to recommend marijuana products to registered patients. Research shows some forms of marijuana, including a synthetic drug, help treat a few conditions, including chronic pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea. But solid research is limited for other forms, such as smoked or vaped marijuana, and for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, for which states have approved marijuana use. Nevertheless, medical marijuana advocates want all states to legalize it, while opponents say only the Food and Drug Administration should approve drugs for medical use. Yet, federal rules make the studies the FDA relies on difficult to undertake. Complicating the situation are Trump administration efforts to end Obama-era policies curtailing prosecution of medical marijuana in states where it is allowed. Caught in the middle are doctors, who worry they can land in legal trouble if they discuss marijuana with patients, and patients, who must rely on advice from cannabis dispensaries.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jul. 21, 2017  Medical Marijuana
Oct. 16, 2015  Marijuana Industry
Feb. 11, 2005  Marijuana Laws
Aug. 20, 1999  Medical Marijuana
Feb. 12, 1982  Marijuana Update
Feb. 21, 1975  Marijuana and the Law
Aug. 09, 1967  Legalization of Marijuana
Alternative Medicine
Consumer Behavior
Consumer Protection and Product Liability
Crime and Law Enforcement
Drug Abuse
Elderly Health Issues
Marijuana Legalization
Medical Research and Advocacy
Party Politics
Substance Abuse