Medical Marijuana: Helpful or Harmful?
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Marijuana, considered a controlled substance by the Federal government, has been decriminalized for therapeutic purposes by some states, including California. Does it in fact provide an effective alternative treatment for the symptoms of various medical conditions, as its advocates argue, or is it a dangerous substance with no proven medicinal value, as its opponents maintain, and thus should remain illegal?
Also, in California, the passage of Proposition 15 and SB420 making the medical use of marijuana legal, has given rise to policies that vary from city to city, guidelines for implementation that are open to interpretation, and rules that are hard to enforce. The proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of the Los Angeles is a testimony to this state of affairs. What is their impact on local communities and are there solutions that can satisfy the opposing constituencies of this hotly debated issue?
At this informative and stimulating Science Matters program, a panel of experts addressed this complex problem from a variety of perspectives: medical science, community impact, public policy, and ethics.
Featured panelists included: (click name for bio)
Conan Nolan — moderator
Donald P. Tashkin, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Bridget Freisthler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA
Sari J. Steel
Principal Deputy County Counsel, Los Angeles County Counsel
Joyce Weitzberg, RN
Retired nurse and former medical marijuana dispensary director
In partnership with the Empowerment Congress and the Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas – with generous support from The California Endowment.
Resources for Further Reading
- Physicians and medical marijuana, by Herbert D. Kleber, M.D. and Robert L. Dupont, M.D., Am J Psychiatry 2012
- Marijuana only for the sick? A farce, some Angelenos say, by Morimitsu Onishi, New York Times, October 7, 2012
- Marijuana, not yet legal for Californians, might as well be, by Adam Nagourney, New York Times, December 20, 2012.
- Marijuana still a drug with no medical use, court says, by David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2013
- Is marijuana good medicine?, by David Sack, Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2012
- Legalizing marijuana raises health concerns, by Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, January 7, 2013
- U.S. rules that marijuana has no medical use. What does science say?, by Maia Szalavitz, Time magazine, July 11, 2011
- Behind the marijuana industry: a series of stories about the medical marijuana market, by Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Time
- Marijuana and medical marijuana. Time Topics, New York Time