The Battle Over Marijuana

The medicinal value of marijuana has long been debated throughout the country. The efforts to have this drug legalized for medical use have existed for years and are only getting stronger. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) currently classifies this drug has having no medicinal uses. Recently, however, this classification has been seriously challenged by a government-sponsored study. This study was conducted by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research and was published in The Open Neurology Journal.

According to this study, marijuana will provide relief to chronic pain sufferers. This conclusion is a direct attack on the DEA's current description of the drug. Marijuana is presently placed on the Schedule I list which includes the most inebriating substances that apparently have no healing value. This is in contrast to the Schedule II-V list which includes drugs that have a number of accepted medical values and may be administered to patients.

Researchers have concluded that this drug can reduce neuropathic pain and muscle spasticity, which is unusual tightness or stiffness of the muscle caused by multiple sclerosis. It has also been shown to help stimulate the appetite for patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, or gastrointestinal disorders. Like most drugs, marijuana also has a number of negative side effects. The study noted that some such effects include muscle weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and heart palpitations. Furthermore, the drug causes withdrawal symptoms after about 12 hours. Both the side effects and the withdrawal symptoms are estimated to reduce over time as they were felt less by experienced users.

The final conclusion of the study was that more research must be conducted in order to truly understand the full possibilities of marijuana use. Researchers believe the medical uses of this drug will extend to a wider range of treatments than just chronic pain. This study is another step in the battle over the nationwide legalization of marijuana as a medical drug. The government thus far has denied the benefits of the drug and persisted to keep its current classification. Researchers and advocates alike are hoping that this study will jumpstart the issue and convince the government to take action.

The issue of marijuana extends into the criminal realm as well as the medical realm. Currently, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in Washington, D.C. and 17 states. However, anyone who is caught producing or using home-grown marijuana may still be arrested and prosecuted according to federal law. This means that an offense involving cannabis will be considered a federal crime. Such a crime is far more serious than a state crime and the penalties can be far more severe. If you have found yourself charged with a federal crime involving marijuana, it is best to hire an attorney who is experienced with both state and federal laws. The legal team Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is ready to defend you through this complicated process. Contact the firm today to see what options are available to you.