In this volume, international contributors discuss the philosophical basis and history of harm reduction policies and examine their outcomes. They also cover controversial topics related to harm reduction especially conflicts between the public health system, where most programs are located, and a worldwide criminal justice system that further marginalizes drug users. The book describes programs from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia.
Chapter 4: The Medicalization of Marijuana
The Medicalization of Marijuana
Writing a chapter on medicalized marijuana for a book that will stand the test of time is quite a challenge, because the societal response to medicalized marijuana is in a state of flux. For many years, therapeutic effects in cases of nausea, pain, epilepsy, asthma, and hypertension have been documented both for marijuana plant extracts and purified cannabinoids (Synder, 1971). After several failed challenges to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reschedule marijuana in recognition of its potential medicinal uses, there was a surprising and well publicized turnaround with the passage of Proposition 215 in California and Proposition 200 in Arizona in November 1996. In their respective states, these propositions permit the use of marijuana for medical ...