Yes, Medical Cannabis Works. So Why Deny the Anecdotal Evidence?


One of the most common arguments against the efficacy of medical cannabis today is that public policy is outpacing real science. Currently, 33 states along with the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have passed laws for comprehensive medical cannabis programs — but critics often point out we’re lacking definitive proof that marijuana safely and effectively treats many of the qualifying conditions.

There are two things wrong with this argument. First, plenty of pharmaceutical drugs, that we broadly accept as legitimate medicine, received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration without conclusive proof, or even convincing evidence that they safely work. And the safety and efficacy of those drugs aren’t even buttressed by a mountain of anecdotal evidence — unlike cannabis use, which has thousands of years of documentation.

Second, while it’s true that decades of the federal government’s restrictive cannabis

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