The Politics and Science of Medical Marijuana
Ten years ago, on March 17, 1999, an important government study was released regarding certain patients’ use of marijuana as prescribed by their doctors. The Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, issued what was then the most comprehensive analysis of the scientific and medical literature about marijuana. The report 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."Many medical experts continue to caution about harms that may result from smoking marijuana, though those harms need to be weighed against other harms that particular patients may be facing. In the political realm, the debate over the legal status of medical marijuana continues to rage. Since 1996, 12 states have legalized marijuana for medical use. What have medical scientists learned about marijuana over the past 10 years? And how have the politics on this contentious issue shifted at the federal and state level? Join us for a lively discussion of the science and politics of medical marijuana.