Prescribing marijuana for medicinal use is a practice that is employed in several countries, including the United States. It is most often used for the treatment of things like nausea, nerve pain, unintentional weight loss, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis, to name a few. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the main part of medical marijuana that is effective in treating these types of conditions. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is the main active ingredient in all marijuana that causes these effects, and it is this chemical that is isolated in pill forms of medical marijuana, such as dronabinol and nabilone. One of the obvious differences between these pills and street marijuana is that the pills are swallowed and street marijuana is typically smoked.
In the United States, there are several states that recognize the usefulness of medical marijuana, but only seven states allow actual dispensaries. This means that in those seven states, medical marijuana is regulated and dispensed in a controlled environment. This is a major difference from its street counterpart. When marijuana is purchased in a non-controlled environment, there is no regulation for what it contains. In other words, you never really know what you are getting when it is purchased from an unregulated source. The marijuana can contain mold that can make you very sick, and it could also contain other types of drugs mixed into it, which may be undetectable. This could cause undesired effects, as well as problematic interactions with other medications or health conditions that the marijuana may not have caused on its own.
FX would like to address your question “why are they prescribing an illegal drug to ill people,” as this is a very interesting consideration. First of all, it should be noted that doctors cannot prescribe marijuana in states where it is not legal for dispensing. To prescribe in the states that have outlawed the dispensing of medical marijuana would be illegal, but to prescribe medical marijuana in one of the seven states that allows this practice would be considered legal.
Second, in these seven states medical marijuana is legal while the selling of “street” marijuana is not because the medical marijuana is completely controlled and regulated. The amount of marijuana a person is given, the make-up of the marijuana, and the medical necessity of the use of medical marijuana, the appropriateness of the use of medical marijuana when it comes to various medical history and lifestyle factors, are all decisions being made by medical professionals with the best interest of their patients in mind. To prescribe medical marijuana, that doctor obviously believes the benefits will outweigh any potential problems, or he/she wouldn’t prescribe it. On the other hand, there is no control or regulation when it comes to street marijuana – what is in it, where it comes from, and how it gets dispensed. Street marijuana may have been smuggled illegally into the country, there may be violence connected to the smuggling and dispensing of “street” marijuana since it is an illegal drug, there is no knowing what is in “street” marijuana thereby increasing the risk of putting dangerous additives or additional drugs into your system, and there is no way with street marijuana to control how much a person is using.
Thirdly, it is important to note that marijuana as a medicine, like any other, should only be taken by the person to whom it was prescribed, and only for the purpose for which is was prescribed. A person without high blood pressure shouldn’t take someone else’s blood pressure medicine. A person without ADHD shouldn’t take someone else’s ADHD medication. Even if you had high blood pressure (or ADHD), you should never take blood pressure pills (or medications for ADHD) from someone selling them on the street or offering them up, because there is no guarantee of what could be in that pill, whether that specific kind of medication is appropriate regarding your condition and medical history, and what kind of dosing you would need. If you look at marijuana that way, the same thing goes.
Teens often abuse prescription drugs because of the myth that these drugs provide a medically safe high.
It is estimated that major depressive disorder (MDD) affects about 5% of adolescents, and that between 10 - 15% of adolescents have some symptoms of depression at any one time.
Statistics show that giving a teen a credit card does not teach them to be financially responsible or to encourage self-restraint, but actually promotes a “spend now and deal with the consequences later” mindset.
Girls are more likely to intentionally abuse prescription drugs than boys.
The reality of excessive interest rates and fees that often accompany credit card use for teens, can put youngsters in a position where they are losing out on admission to graduate school, getting a job, or renting an apartment because of damaged credit history.
Less than 33% of teens with depression get help, yet 80% of teens with depression can be successfully treated if they seek help from a doctor or therapist.
Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for all persons age 6-33, and about 45% of these fatalities are alcohol-related crashes.
About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year.
30% of teens with depression also have a substance abuse problem.
Freshmen bring an average of $1,585.00 in credit card debt to college.
About a third of women who seek services related to unprotected sex, such as pregnancy testing or emergency contraception, do not receive STD counseling, testing, or treatment.
7-10% of college students will drop out of school because of credit problems.
Teens with untreated depression are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, leading to higher rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Most smokers begin smoking as teens, and the average age of initiation is 12.5 years of age.
People with manic symptoms and Bipolar Disorder II are at a significant risk of later developing an alcohol abuse or dependence problem.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group.
The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is the highest of any industrialized democracy, nearly twice that of Great Britain and 10 times that of Japan. 4
Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use, and male high school students are more likely than female students to rarely or never wear seat belts.
A national study of women ages 15-44 found that women were almost twice as likely to receive contraceptive services rather than STD services.
The teenage pregnancy rate in the U.S. is at its lowest level in thirty years, down 36% since its peak in 1990. Research suggests that both increased abstinence and positive changes in contraceptive practice are responsible these recent declines in teen pregnancy.
A sexually active teenager who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year. 8
In the United States, at least 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders. 11
Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 38% were speeding at the time of the crash and 24% had been drinking.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds overall. 16
Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. 22
One in four teenage girls in the U.S. had at least one common sexually transmitted disease.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths ages 15 to 20. 19
The highest Chlamydia rates occurred among women ages 15 to 19 and 20 to 24.
About 44% of rape victims are under age 18. Three out of every twenty victims (15%) are under age 12. 25
Each year, half of all HIV infections are among people under the age of 25.
Crash risk is particularly high during the first year that teenagers are eligible to drive.
One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. 23
Teen girls ages 15-19 have the highest Gonorrhea rate of any age group.
The motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16-19 is more than one and half times that of their female counterparts.
More than four in 10 young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 - nearly one million teen pregnancies a year 3
The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers; the risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in this country. More than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related causes each year, and most of them began using tobacco before the age of 18.
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.
Underage drinking costs the U.S. more than $58 billion every year; enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer.
At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers.
Teens who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crimes and sexual assault, have serious problems in school, be involved in drinking-related traffic crashes, and develop problems with alcohol later in life.
Nearly all the poison deaths in the U.S. are attributed to drugs, and most drug poisonings result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs.
Alcohol kills 6.5 times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.
Persons aged 15-24, who represent only 14% of the U.S. population, account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) among females.
Among young people ages 12-17, prescription drugs have become the second most abused illegal drug, behind marijuana.