It’s clear that marijuana use can cause cognitive problems in the short-term, and perhaps even long-term. It is not something to be taken lightly, but for the chronically ill, perhaps that’s a fair trade-off.
Currently, 13 states allow some use of medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval, and earlier this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that it will no longer raid state-approved marijuana dispensaries; our view of marijuana is changing.
It’s all very cut and dry if you believe that marijuana is nothing more than a dangerous and illegal street drug. But the testimonials by the chronically ill give one pause. Quality of life and end of life issues take on a whole new meaning when it’s your life rather than a hypothetical exercise.
Living comes with difficult choices that we’d rather not make, and sometimes it’s about the lesser evil. If marijuana, in its common form or some other variation, can improve quality of life, if only briefly, should it be treated any differently than any medication prescribed by a physician? Is it a moral issue?
Whether it’s a miracle or a menace may be in the eye of the beholder.
Writer Ann Pietrangelo embraces the concept of personal responsibility for health and wellness. As a multiple sclerosis patient, she combines a healthy lifestyle and education with modern medicine, and seeks to provide information and support to others. She is a regular contributor to Care2.com’s Reform Health Policy blog in Causes.