When the White House commissioned this report in response to the passage of California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996, many in the mainstream media, and many more lawmakers, were still skeptical about marijuana’s potential therapeutic value. The publication of the Institute of Medicine’s findings — which concluded that cannabis possessed medicinal properties to control pain and nausea, and to stimulate appetite — provided the issue with long-overdue credibility, and began in earnest a political discourse that continues today.
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We’ve affirmed that the use of medical marijuana can be used remarkably safely and effectively.
We’ve learned that cannabis possesses therapeutic value beyond symptom management, and that it can, in some cases, moderate disease progression.
We’ve discovered alternative methods to safely, effectively, and rapidly deliver marijuana’s therapeutic properties to patients that don’t involve smoking.
We’ve learned that restricted patient access to medicinal cannabis will not
necessarily result in higher use rates among young people or among the
And finally we’ve learned — much to the chagrin of medical marijuana opponents — that in fact the sky will not fall if we grant patients the right to use it.