How has the medical community responded to cannabis legalization?

The medical community can play an important role in shaping perceptions about cannabis. How has the medical community responded to the legalization of cannabis, and what is their current stance on its use?

One answer “How has the medical community responded to cannabis legalization?

  1. The medical community has had a wide range of reactions to the legalization of cannabis. The most salient among them is that of the US medical establishment, the American Medical Association(AMA). The AMA has long been reluctant to endorse marijuana, but has recently softened its stance to support research into its potential medical benefits, though with caution.

    The AMA acknowledges there is significant evidence supporting its use to treat certain medical conditions, including chronic pain and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, they recognize the possible therapeutic applications of marijuana in improving quality of life and addressing chronic illnesses, even if further research is needed. However, they continue to express concern over THC levels and potential abuse. The AMA urges the federal government to support research into the potential medical uses of cannabis and its effects on the body, and to set restrictions on availability to minors and for recreational purposes.

    Moreover, the AMA warns about the potential for addiction and dependence on cannabis. The effects of long-term use may not yet be fully understood and more research is needed, particularly in areas such as cognitive functions. Furthermore, the AMA has called for greater caution when considering the medical use of cannabis given its psychoactive effects, and the potential for dependence among populations who have been exposed to high levels of THC. They recommend that doctors should proceed gradually, beginning with low doses, monitored closely and titrated to effect. This could be useful to reduce the risk factors associated with recreational and high dose use.

    Generally, more and more medical professionals are recognizing the potential of cannabis and its place as a viable therapeutic option. That said, the majority of medical health care professionals recognize the need for more research and education to expand public opinion of cannabis and to ensure its safe use, potential benefits and risks. Evidently, the medical community’s stance on cannabis has shifted over time, but still the majority remains cautious when it comes to making patient recommendations, particularly when it comes to the risks of addiction and misuse. As such, there remains significant work ahead to thoroughly understand all the potential of this plant and its therapeutic properties.

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