A record-high 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. Forty-six percent say marijuana use should remain illegal.
It was a reversal of President Obama's campaign promise to end the previous Administration's legal pursuit of medical marijuana. Although Obama's Justice Department had previously abided by a memo that said prosecuting marijuana providers and patients who followed state law was not an "efficient use of federal resources," over the summer, the Administration changed tack, expressing concern about "an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes." It began sending letters to dispensaries and their landlords threatening forfeiture of the properties if marijuana sales did not stop.
The prison industry is booming, the police-state tactics are escalating, lawyers and judges are inundated with work as our inner cities are starving, our corporate giants are downsizing to maintain their profit margins, the medical profession is closing ranks around the pharmaceutical synthetics even as the death toll in side effects reaches horrendous proportions — all while one natural plant could ease the pain and suffering of so many sick and dying people, help save our dangerously diminishing forests from further exploitation, feed the billions of hungry and unfortunate people around the globe, and cleanse the toxins from the air we breath — and certainly increase the breathing capacity of us all.
rapid heart rate
increased blood pressure
increased rate of breathing
increased appetite, or "the munchies"
slowed reaction time
If smoked marijuana were to inhibit the activity of T-lymphocytes in the blood, it would compromise the body's ability to fight infection. This would put some people at the mercy of opportunistic infections and diseases, notably those who have immunosuppressive conditions like HIV or lymphoma.
The rate of current, past 30-day use of marijuana by Americans aged 12 and older in 1979 was 13.2 percent. In 2008 that figure stood at 6.1 percent. This 54-percent reduction in marijuana use over that 29-year period is a major public health triumph, not a failure.
We spend about $150 billion on policing and courts, and 47.5% of all drug arrests are marijuana-related. That is an awful lot of money, most of it nonfederal, that could be spent on better schools or infrastructure — or simply returned to the public
The use of marijuana or cannabis extracts for medical treatment has been extensively studied over the last 20 years. Initial enthusiasm for THC as an antiemetic or to reduce intraocular pressure has waned with the advent of new medications that provide superior medical benefits with fewer adverse effects. The main success of THC has been found in patients suffering from AIDS-related wasting syndrome and in some cases in which patients are suffering from intractable pain. However, nearly all of these studies involved the use of controlled doses of purified cannabinoids, bypassing the adverse effects associated with smoking marijuana. Dr. Robert L. DuPont, Georgetown University School of Medicine, says that most opponents of the medical use of smoked marijuana are not hostile to the medical use of THC, while "most supporters of smoked marijuana are hostile to the use of purified chemicals from marijuana, insisting that only smoked marijuana leaves be used as 'medicine,' revealing clearly that their motivation is not scientific medicine but the back door legalization of marijuana."21
Evidence supporting medical marijuana for appetite loss, glaucoma, nausea, vomiting, spasticity, pain, and weight loss is quite impressive. Evidence for its use for arthritis, dystonia, insomnia, seizures, and Tourette's syndrome is also very promising.
These states have medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective.