Medical Marijuana Debate and Poll
Do you favor Legalizing the Medical use of Marijuana


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Do you favor Legalizing the Medical use of Marijuana?


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Twenty-eight states have laws on their books allowing some form of medical use of marijuana, which is prohibited under federal law.



Patients should be able to use marijuana to relieve suffering upon a doctor's advice.



This deserves to be a scientific medical issue, not a political issue



There is no conclusive scientific evidence that marijuana provides a therapeutic benefit that exceeds currently prescribed drugs


PRO 4.1

A two-year study done by 11 independent experts at the U.S. Institute of Medicine found that marijuana appeared to be effective in treating the pain, nausea and severe weight loss associated with AIDS. (They also found that the benefits of smoking marijuana were limited because the smoke itself was so toxic.) The report called for the development of standardized forms of the drugs, called cannabinoids, that can be taken by an inhaler, similar to those used to deliver asthma drugs. About three drug companies are now working on official toking devices, Watson said, but it could be several years before one comes to market.


Proponents of pot say it helps AIDS patients keep eating; relieves nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy; alleviates the chronic pain of conditions including headaches, arthritis and degenerative nerve disease; reduces spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients; and lowers the increased intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.


IN A STUDY published Thursday in the American Medical Association journal Archives of Ophthalmology, Keith Green, a Medical College of Georgia professor of ophthalmology, attacks “the fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma.” Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that affects between 2 percent and 3 percent of people and is more likely in those with a family history of the disease. The normal eye maintains a constant pressure of fluid, but glaucoma causes a chemical change that blocks the outflow, Green said. That leads to increased pressure that can lead to blindness. Chemicals in marijuana called cannabinoids do seem to help improve the outflow in about 60 percent of the people who try it. But the pressure builds back up within four hours, Green said. In order to keep the pressure down, a person would have to smoke a joint every two hours, he said. “Smoking a joint a week is not going to cure glaucoma,” said Green.


PRO 6.1

Advocates for medical marijuana say even temporarily alleviating the pressure is better than doing nothing. “Should these patients suffer so?” asked Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws Foundation.



Critics have long claimed that smoking pot leads to use of harder drugs such as cocaine. Legalizing pot sends the wrong message.






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