Medical marijuana: What does science say?
A look at the pros and cons of medical marijuana use, a topic that inspires strong opinions on both sides.
By Jill U. Adams
Special to The Times
August 18, 2008
DEPENDING ON whom you ask, marijuana is a dangerous drug that should be kept illegal alongside heroin and PCP, or it’s a miracle herb with a trove of medical benefits that the government is seeking to deny the public—or something in between: a plant with medical uses and drawbacks, worth exploring.
As the political debates over medical marijuana drag on, a small cadre of researchers continues to test inhaled marijuana for the treatment of pain, nausea and muscle spasms.
All drugs have risks, they point out—including ones in most Americans’ medicine cabinets, such as aspirin and other pain-relievers or antihistamines such as Benadryl. Doctors try to balance those risks against the potential for medical good—why not for marijuana as well, they ask.