One of the reasons why marijuana has been legalized in 28 U.S. states as of November 8, 2016, is that the drug is known to have potential medical benefits. Although these advantages have not been approved by the FDA, experience and medical research, have both proven marijuana’s effectiveness in eight known diseases, which are cancer, glaucoma, muscle spasms, HIV/AIDS, severe nausea, severe pain, seizures, and cachexia.
The U.S. states that legalized marijuana for personal medical use include Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Washington and, most recently, the District of Columbia. However, despite the state approval of marijuana in these states, its sale continues to be against federal law.
Various state laws recommend the use of medical marijuana on conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, decompensated cirrhosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. However, this depends on particular U.S. states. Any use of marijuana for conditions not approved by the state is punishable by law.
The use of marijuana in healthcare has never been without controversy. The American Medical Association has appealed to authorities to formulate legislation to emphasize the medical use of marijuana and to stop the negative publicity against it. The AMA continues to encourage further medical research on the potential benefits of marijuana.
The legalization of marijuana for recreational use has been carried out in 8 U.S. states. These include Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, and Alaska. These countries have also approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Nonetheless, those in states where recreational use of marijuana has been approved should not distribute it to minors. Also, they should not gain revenues from the sale of marijuana for criminal purposes. Moreover, there should be no violence or guns as well as drugged driving associated with its use.
Despite being legalized in 28 states for medical purposes and in 8 states for recreational purposes, the biggest problem with medical marijuana is its potential side effects and the lack of approval from the FDA. As for recreational purposes, the common problem for users is violating the federal law.