Law and Policy: Drug Legalization Debate - Research Article from Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

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The Special Case of Medical Marijuana

The case of medical marijuana is especially tricky. Cocaine is already available for medical use, yet few would say that the United States has legalized cocaine. So clearly there are ways of making marijuana available for medical use without legalizing it. However, medical exceptions to a general law prohibiting marijuana could be written in such a way that the effect would be to legalize the drug. For example, if the decision as to whether marijuana is medically necessary is, by law, left to the users themselves, then anyone who wanted to use marijuana for whatever purpose could simply claim to have a medical condition.

Some recent medical marijuana laws have been written quite broadly to apply to a large number of cases in which marijuana might be medically useful. One reason for this is that supporters of medical-marijuana...

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This section contains 2,460 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Law and Policy: Drug Legalization Debate Encyclopedia Article
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Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
Law and Policy: Drug Legalization Debate from Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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