Legalization Of Marijuana For Medical Applications

1717 Words7 Pages
Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Applications: A consideration of aspects of the issue INTRODUCTION In its brief overview of palliative care (Improving palliative care, August 2003), the Institute of Medicine emphasized purpose: “to prevent or lessen the severity of pain and other symptoms and to achieve the best quality of life for people dying or suffering from a long-term disease” (p. 2). Immediate pain reduction, if not outright elimination, facilitates satisfaction of other, more emotional or introspective end-of-life matters (e.g., working through spiritual issues, resolving family differences). Achieving pain relief under certain treatment regimes implicates a number of federal and state criminal statutes, as well as public policy. Those treatment regimes that rely on opiates (e.g., morphine) and cannabinoids (most notably, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) risk running afoul of the Controlled Substances Act [CSA] (21 U.S.C. Sec. 841 et seq.). Under current federal law, the use of marijuana for any purpose—other than government-sanctioned research—is a criminal offense. (In October 2009, the Department of Justice, in a guidance memorandum to United States Attorneys, stated that the Department considered federal prosecution of persons using marijuana for medical purposes in compliance with state laws “is unlikely to be an efficient use of federal resources” [p. 2]. The choice of words in the memorandum may be

More about Legalization Of Marijuana For Medical Applications

Open Document