States With Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Overdose Deaths

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

medical marijuana

We’re finally on the right track. At least the statistics indicate so.

For decades, marijuana has been illegal for growth, sale, and use in the United States.

In recent years, it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for restricted medical use.

The overwhelming evidence of this potent plant’s efficacy in reducing pain and treating cancer is finally beginning to make an impression on those who deny its use.

states medical marijuana fewer painkiller overdose deaths

Marijuana was criminalized in the 1930s, against the advice of the American Medical Association.

Responsibility for legalization of marijuana (for medical use only) was given to the individual states by the federal government. California was the first to make it available in 1996. There are currently twenty-four states that have legalized its use when prescribed by a physician.[1] The federal government, however, performed a little back-hand maneuver: in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that:

“…federal law enforcement authorities could criminally prosecute patients for possessing marijuana prescribed by a physician in accordance with state law. The Court did not overturn state medical marijuana laws but did open the door to criminal prosecution under federal drug statutes. The Court also did not foreclose future challenges to federal enforcement on other constitutional grounds (eg, an unwarranted invasion of patient-physician privacy)…despite a ruling from Administrative Law Judge Francis Young that ‘it is unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious for DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency] to continue to stand between sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence.'”[2]

So even if your doctor prescribes it, the feds can come busting into your house and arrest you if you have marijuana that you bought from the state. (We are obviously ignoring the question of how this is a Constitutional issue that would come before the Supreme Court in the first place.)

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Federally, marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance, along with heroin and LSD (lysergic acid diethyl amide, “acid”). Not even like apples and oranges–more like apples and hemlock. All have psychoactive effects but that is where the similarities end–potency, derivation, and other factors make this classification inappropriate.