Despite non existence of concrete proof regarding the efficacy of marijuana in the field of medicine, it has been used as a medical agent since ages mostly as a psychotropic drug and a pain reliever. Medical marijuana has been classified as schedule I agent by the U.S. Congress under the Controlled Substances Act. This means it falls under the category of LSD and peyote, and its illegal use would be a case of drug abuse. Possessing this drug or selling it for any purpose without license is still a federal crime. However, the District of Columbia and 16 other states have legalized its use for medical purposes. Confiding to this law, almost over 500, 000 Americans are currently using medical marijuana.
In the field of medicine, marijuana is believed to alleviate nausea and allow patients to withstand strong doses of chemotherapy and improve tolerance towards long term treatment of hepatitis C. However, it needs to be proved that marijuana is actually safe and effective. Despite its touted health benefits marijuana is addictive and the people who use it merely for enjoyment gradually get addicted to it. Nevertheless, the effects of addiction to nicotine, alcohol and various other kinds of prescription drugs are much dangerous than that of marijuana. It can be argued that the society needs to be equally cautious about other kinds of addictive habits apart from marijuana cannabis.
People who smoke pot excessively for the purpose of recreation can succumb to different forms of psychiatric illness associated with emotional disorders, cognitive impairment and depression, mental weakness, etc. Even though these issues create concern, epidemiologic data argue against a strong association between medical marijuana use and lung cancer. It says that even heavy recreational marijuana users rarely smoke more than several marijuana cannabis cigarettes per day and thus they have a lower risk of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals as compared to most cigarette smokers.
Associate professor of Anesthesiology and director of the Pain Treatment Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center strongly discourages use of marijuana for medical purposes as there is no reliable proof in this regard. However, if proper research is done, then it could be possible that the results come out to be quite surprising, i.e. marijuana cannabis may have medical merits and can be used for medical purpose. Therefore, studies and research on the therapeutic value of medical marijuana must be done seriously like any other drug before legitimizing its use.