For the past four years, Christy Shake has given her son marijuana extract six times a day to ease his childhood epilepsy. Hers is a compelling story that highlights the potential benefits of medical cannabis. But in the wake of antiquated and inflexible federal legislation, anecdotal reports like these are essentially all we have. More than half the states in the U.S. have voted to legalize medical marijuana, as thousands contend it’s a viable treatment for a growing list of conditions. Nevertheless, as more and more patients gain access to cannabis, neither they nor their physicians understand exactly what they’re receiving from local dispensaries. Patients, caregivers, scientists, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and dispensary growers alike are calling for changes to government policies that restrict research. It’s high time to separate politics from science.
Trial and Error: Medical Marijuana, the Absence of Evidence, and the Allure of Anecdote
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