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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199913 Find in a Library
Title: Acceptance of Medicinal Marijuana in the U.S.
Journal: Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:53-65
Author(s): Dale H. Gieringer
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the increasingly widespread use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Abstract: The use of marijuana for medical purposes has been legalized in eight States: California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, Maine, Colorado, and Hawaii. The author discusses the extent of its’ use by surveying official patient registries, private patients’ groups, and physicians specializing in medical marijuana. At a minimum there are currently 35,000 people using marijuana for medical purposes in accordance with State laws. Five of the eight States operate an official registration program for medical marijuana users. The author estimated that approximately 3,400 patients are registered with these official programs. California has the highest concentration of medical marijuana users, with an estimated 30,000 patient users, despite its’ lack of an official registry. A growing number of physicians are recommending marijuana for a wide variety of medical purposes, ranging from chronic pain to AIDS and cancer. However, Federal law bars doctors from prescribing this Schedule I drug, which discourages many doctors from even recommending it as an option for their patients. Colorado and Nevada estimated that few of their doctors have experience with medical marijuana, perhaps as a result of fear of Federal punishment. On the other hand, a growing number of physicians in California have begun to specialize in medical cannabis treatment. However, patients continue to complain of the lack of physicians who have knowledge of cannabis treatments and are willing to recommend cannabis for their aliments. The author notes that the growing popularity of medical marijuana use and the wide range of conditions that are alleviated by marijuana refutes the current Schedule I classification of this drug. Table, references
Main Term(s): Medical uses of marijuana
Index Term(s): Alaska; California; Colorado; Federal drug laws; Hawaii; Maine; Nevada; Oregon; State laws; Washington
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