Facts about medical marijuana:
- 7 out of 10 voters surveyed across all parties support Medical Marijuana in Florida.
- Many patients and their doctors find marijuana a useful medicine as part of the treatment for AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, dystonia, and other ailments. Yet Florida laws treat all patients currently using medical marijuana as criminals. Doctors are presently allowed to prescribe cocaine and morphine — but not marijuana.
- Supporters of Medical Marijuana include: The American College of Physicians , Institute of Medicine, American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Foundation of America, American Medical Student Association, and the state medical societies of New York, Rhode Island, and California.
- A few of the many editorial boards that have endorsed medical access to marijuana include: Miami Herald, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Orange County Register, USA Today, Baltimore’s Sun, and The Los Angeles Times.
- Since 1996, a majority of voters in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state have voted in favor of ballot initiatives to remove criminal penalties for seriously ill people who grow or possess medical marijuana.
- The American Medical Association believes that “effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal sanctions.”
Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. No one has ever died from an overdose, and it has a wide variety of therapeutic applications, including:
- Relief from nausea and appetite loss;
- Reduction of intraocular (within the eye) pressure;
- Reduction of muscle spasms; and
- Relief from chronic pain.
Marijuana is frequently beneficial in the treatment of the following conditions:
AIDS. Marijuana can reduce the nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite caused by the ailment itself and by various AIDS medications. Observational research has found that by relieving these side effects, medical marijuana increases the ability of patients to stay on life-extending treatment. (See also CHRONIC PAIN below.)
HEPATITIS C. As with AIDS, marijuana can relieve the nausea and vomiting caused by treatments for hepatitis C. In a study published in the September 2006 European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, patients using marijuana were better able to complete their medication regimens, leading to a 300% improvement in treatment success.
GLAUCOMA. Marijuana can reduce intraocular pressure, alleviating the pain and slowing—and sometimes stopping — damage to the eyes. (Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It damages vision by increasing eye pressure over time.)
CANCER. Marijuana can stimulate the appetite and alleviate nausea and vomiting, which are common side effects of chemotherapy treatment.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: Marijuana can limit the muscle pain and spasticity caused by the disease, as well as relieving tremor and unsteadiness of gait. (Multiple sclerosis is the leading cause of neurological disability among young and middle-aged adults in the United States.)
EPILEPSY: Marijuana can prevent epileptic seizures in some patients.
CHRONIC PAIN. Marijuana can alleviate chronic, often debilitating pain caused by myriad disorders.
INJURIES: Since 2007, three published clinical trials have found that marijuana effectively relieves neuropathic pain.