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What Jeff Sessions doesn’t understand about medical marijuana

In such a dispensary, pharmacists know the exact amount of the active chemicals that each product contains. Unlike illegal marijuana, their products aren’t contaminated with heavy metals, bacteria, fungi, herbicides or pesticides.

What if patients can no longer access these products? They will either have to go without and lose the benefits of their treatment, leading to moderately intense marijuana withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, chills, shakiness and stomach pain.

Or, they might try to switch to the black market, where products may be inconsistent and prosecution is possible. In so doing, they would be supporting organized crime and exposing themselves to additional dangers. I especially worry about children with epilepsy who might have to use illegal marijuana that gives them a high due to the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) rather than a legal version with little to no THC.

A balanced approach

Since 2014, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment has been routinely included in the appropriations language with support from both parties. But in the past year, things have broken down. So far, the amendment has survived through resolutions to extend government spending, but it’s unclear whether it will appear in the new federal budget.

Legal recreational marijuana comes with potential benefits and drawbacks to society, and I’m not sure yet that we know what the impact will be over the long term. But the research on medical marijuana is clear: Marijuana has legitimate medical uses. It should not be a Schedule I drug and should not be denied to patients. There’s virtually no upside to banning a potentially effective therapy for patients with diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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