While we question the validity of the decades long “War on Drugs” and attempt to view policy through the lens of public health concerns, we find that what has been lacking is scientific research and a compassionate approach.
Today however, new research concerning the possible benefits of cannabis is altering the discussion. It is nearly impossible to ignore the fact that the rhetoric demonizing cannabis was grossly overstated. Polling indicates that more than 40% of Americans have used cannabis. That’s a large number of people who have personal experience. These people are your family and friends and neighbors. They are lawyers and doctors and parents. At best, we know someone who has benefitted greatly from using cannabis.
A person who could alleviate pain without, or with fewer, prescription painkillers. A person who could regain their appetite after undergoing chemotherapy. A child who could reduce seizure occurrences. Anecdotal cases demand further research. We are far from drawing absolute conclusions.However, we must weigh any possible negative side effects of cannabis use against its many, many potential benefits. The great shift occurring now is motivated by the desire to side with the patient’s wishes.
We know there is a lot of information to sift through. That’s why our opinions are always guided by patient experience and the best research available. We spend a lot of time reading papers and vetting them for credibility. We don’t get our knowledge from random web articles and neither should you.
Illinois was the 23rd state to pass legislation legalizing the use of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions. Every state has different rules that govern medical cannabis use and the rules here are different than other states, even ones that only allow medical and not recreational use.