Medical marijuana use is strongly debated. People should realize that this is not an argument about casual use of the drug, but is a debate about medical marijuana use to treat illnesses. Of course, some opponents to its medical use suggest that if all regions could get it legally prescribed, lots of people would use the drug casually instead of medically.
In places like the US, the drug was employed medicinally for several centuries, and thought to have curative properties for a number of conditions. This changed dramatically in the early 1970s when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified marijuana as a schedule I drug.
Such drugs are deemed to have no medicinal value, and from that standpoint there was no way to research drug benefits. This classification was, in large part, a response to deep concern regarding significant drug use occurring in the 1960s, which especially reflected the fear that marijuana was a gateway drug. These drugs presumably lead to heavier and more dangerous drug use.
In some countries marijuana is legal medically or at all times, and it is from these countries that research began to emerge suggesting medical marijuana use had benefits. In particular, its use to combat the nausea associated with AIDs or AIDs drugs and with chemotherapy began to point to very legitimate uses. There are now a number of suggested uses that inform the pro side of the debate about medical marijuana use, and proponents claim that the drug may help reduce inflammatory response, assist with chronic pain conditions, help with intestinal disorders, and increase appetite.
Proponents question whether marijuana is dangerous, and if so, counter that there are many dangerous and addictive drugs prescribed. These include Ritalin®, routinely given to children, and a variety of pain relievers. People supporting legalization include many traditional medical sources, including the American Medical Association, which is known as a more conservative physician group.
There are physicians and others who hold the opposite view in the debate about medical marijuana use. They express concern that marijuana has no legitimate use, that it will encourage drug abuse, that people will become addicted to it, and that they will be tempted to use harder drugs. Other arguments made by opponents to legalization or medical use include that smoking marijuana is injurious to the lungs. On top of that, there are now synthetic drugs that have similar chemical composition to marijuana, and these are safer substitutes.
The debate about medical marijuana use is not likely to end soon, though some regions have already legalized the drug as medicine. Proponents suggest that organizations like the FDA reclassify the drug so that clinical studies may take place to prove it worthiness or lack of usefulness. There may be some movement in this direction, but many are still opposed to making the drug legal.