In 1978, the federal government was forced to allow some patients access to medical marijuana after a “medical necessity” defense was recognized in court, creating the Investigational New Drug (IND) compassionate access program.
Medical marijuana by states
Thirteen states have medical marijuana research laws, and only fifteen states have never had a positive medical marijuana law.
Since 1996, fifteen states have enacted laws that allow the cultivation of medical marijuana and protect patients who possess medical marijuana (with their doctors’ recommendations or certifications) from criminal penalties: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Ten of the thirteen did so through the initiative process. Hawaii’s law was enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor in 2000; Vermont’s was enacted by the legislature and passed into law without the governor’s signature in 2004; Rhode Island’s was passed into law over the governor’s veto in 2006; New Mexico’s legislation was signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson in 2007; and on January 18, 2010, Governor Jon Corzine signed New Jersey’s bill into law. In mid-December 2009, the United States Senate passed an omnibus appropriations bill that removed restrictions on the implementation of a marijuana initiative passed by District of Columbia voters in 1998; President Obama subsequently signed this bill into law on December 13, 2009.
Article about states have medical marijuana legalized.
Public Support for Medical Marijuana Legalization
Medical marijuana is one of the most widely supported issues in drug policy reform.
According to a 1999 Gallup poll, 73% of Americans are in favor of “making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering.”
Assuming that those who use cannabis daily are medical users, the application of these percentages to comparable 2010 U.S. Census categories for those age 18 to 55 would calculate estimated 5 million medical marijuana patients in the U.S.
“According to a survey of 400 physicians, both general practitioners and specialists in the Netherlands, which was performed just before the legal introduction of medicinal cannabis, only 6% said that they were under no condition willing to prescribe medicinal cannabis, while 60% to 70% regarded medicinal cannabis sufficiently socially accepted and would prescribe it if asked for by a patient.”
Medical Marijuana and health
According to the recent experiment on influence of cannabis, marijuana proved to be effective as a therapy for nausea (93%) and vomiting (75%), and as an appetite stimulant (95%).
These results were also shown by many other medical researches, such as The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report that stated “The accumulated data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.”
Cannabinoids likely have a natural role in pain modulation, control of movement, and memory.
Arguments about marijuana being the gateway drug
The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report explained that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because “Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana, usually before they are of legal age.”