Many people believe that marijuana can be used as medicine to treat certain illnesses.
Canada and several states in the U.S. have passed laws in recent years to specifically allow sick people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The only major federal report on the the subject of medicinal use of marijuana concluded that there was evidence that marijuana could be useful for "pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation."
We support the rights of sick people to help themselves by using marijuana as medicine.
However, in the long term, we believe that medicinal marijuana will be a non-issue because marijuana will be legal for responsible adults to use regardless of illness.
Read what doctors, scientists, and others say about medicinal marijuana
"Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base" (1999) -- The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published this report in response to the the White House's request for a review of scientific information about marijuana's medical uses. This report is informative and straightforward, and states the clear conclusion that scientific evidence indicates the therapeutic effects of "cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation."
According to Forbes.com on April 17, 2007, Harvard University researchers have reported finding that delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of marijuana, reduced the growth of lung cancer in mice. These results are promising, but further research is necessary to see if THC treatment has the same effect in humans.
As reported on May 26, 2006 in the Washington Post and Science Daily, a long term study by UCLA researchers found that marijuana use did not increase the probability of cancer, and suggested that marijuana may have some protective effects against cancer.
In 1975, researchers at the Medical College of Virginia reported finding that marijuana's active ingredients slowed the growth of lung cancer in mice. The report was published in Oxford's Journal of the National Cancer Institute [1975 Sep;55(3):597-602] and is available through PubMed.
Canada has a much more sensible approach to medicinal marijuana than the U.S. Health Canada "grants access to marihuana for medical use to those who are suffering from grave and debilitating illnesses."
"Federal Foolishness and Marijuana," is an excellent article by Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D. The article appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (Volume 336:366-367, January 30, 1997, Number 5) and explains why the federal government's position on medicinal marijuana doesn't make sense. The New England Journal of Medicine is one of the nation's most respected medical journals; subscription is required to view the article online.