he 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
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- The sexual politics of Game of Thrones just got enormously worse
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Entrepreneurs: A dying breed?
- Wounded in Boston, two brothers endure
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why Easter is so important to Christians
- The Democrats have a mega-donor problem
Subscribe to the Week