The first clinical trials for smoked marijuana in more than two decades show that the drug is effective in relieving pain and reducing muscular spasms from multiple sclerosis. The five studies, four published and one under review for publication, are just the first of 14 that have been funded by a California state program and undertaken at the University of California. After years of debate, does this new research prove once and for all that pot has medical value?
It's settled — marijuana is medicine: Look, five separate U.C. studies found that marijuana can ease pain caused by a host of injuries and diseases, says Dennis Romero in LA Weekly. Pot has "medicinal value," end of the story. This is welcome confirmation that California and other states were right to go against the grain and legalize the medicinal use of cannabis.
"Medical marijuana does a body good (if you're in pain)"
This "over-hyped" report proves nothing: "It should come as no surprise that ingesting marijuana makes people feel good," says physician Peter Lipson in Forbes. But "marijuana has many negative effects, such as addiction and withdrawal." So it's wrong to use this "incomplete and over-hyped" research of pot's alleged benefits to justify its "premature use as a drug."
"Medical marijuana: An over-hyped drug"
It's a good first step: There's always been plenty of controversy surrounding medical marijuana, say the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle, "but little science." So the U.C.-backed research, "partial as it is, is welcome." These findings reinforce the White House decision to ease up on medical marijuana crackdowns — and the "humane" thing to do is to leave patients alone until scientists can deliver "the final word" on "the weed's worth."
"A win for marijuana research"
SEE MORE OPINION BRIEFS ON THIS TOPIC:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Internet piracy isn't killing Hollywood
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
- Why isn't 'Arkansas' pronounced like 'Kansas'?
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- This 1,600-year-old Viking war game is still awesome
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- Congress' craven approach toward the war on ISIS
- The fascinating political evolution of Paul Ryan
Subscribe to the Week