Medical marijuana is a controversial topic within the US, shrouded in mystery and suspicion. Even with the legalization of the medicinal use of the drug in most states, there’s still much ground that has to be explored, especially when it comes to chronic pain.
Marijuana’s complicated history with American politics has made the conduction of reliable research a difficult, creating an endless loop of struggles for proponents of the plant. Many medical practitioners are not opposed to the idea of medical marijuana, but still don’t prescribe it to their patients, claiming that there’s not enough research on the matter and that they’d rather use methods with certifiable results instead of resorting to experimentation.
Recent studies have demonstrated the effect the drug has on some illnesses, one of them being chronic pain, and how helpful marijuana has been for its treatment. Chronic pain is one of the country’s most pervasive issues, affecting over 100 million Americans at an annual cost of $600 billion. Opioids have been the leading medical treatment for the illness, but they come with a bunch of side effects that have many believing that they do more harm than good. In 2014, there were over 14,000 deaths caused by unintentional overdoses on opioids. These drugs are also a much discussed source of addiction that have led us to the current American opioid crisis, where the drugs are among the leading sources of death in several states.
All of this evidence should put medical marijuana in a good spot, but still, doctors are incapable of prescribing the herb to their patients because of its illegal status under federal law. They’re only able to verify that their patients are viable for medical marijuana, which in turn allows them to purchase the drug out of pocket at their local dispensary.
If you want to learn more on the subject, you can read these stories that explain things further: