The fact that medical marijuana has assisted patients suffering from the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma can no longer be denied. Some patients claim that the therapeutic uses of medical marijuana have even had more substantial affects than some pharmaceutical counterparts.
The prospect of therapeutic uses for medical marijuana has been entertained in the courts in many countries for a number of years.
The central issue at the forefront of all these cases is this: “Does medical marijuana really have the medicinal properties many claim it does or is this a way for marijuana advocates to use it without fear of criminal action?”
In most instances, patients who use medical marijuana (even under a doctor’s approval) are still considered to be using it illegally and face possible arrest or imprisonment.
Since the mid 1990’s, medical marijuana ballot initiatives have received a majority of votes in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State. The vast majority of Americans do support legal access to medical marijuana and there are numerous studies that have shown conclusively the benefits to patients of medical marijuana use.
Canada as well as many States in the U.S. have budgeted for scientific research in the use and benefits of medical marijuana. Although many places have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes none of the laws governing recreational use have been altered. Recreational use remains a criminal offense.