Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington D.C., but there is still a lot of confusion around the medicine, even though polls consistently show the majority of American citizens support allowing seriously ill patients use marijuana for medical purposes with their doctor’s approval. Congress and the DEA have failed to make medical cannabis legal, so more than half of the states enacted their own laws to protect patients, while 19 other states recognize the benefits of medical marijuana, though failing to provide access. Even though the population may favor the drug, many are still confused and lack an education on the subject of medical marijuana.

Relevant to the issues at hand, medical marijuana access can help fight the opioid epidemic, as a study found a 48% decrease in opioid use after using medical marijuana for just three months. Scientists have found that when cannabis is used in combination with prescription opioids, pain-relieving properties increase, so patients can reduce their dosage while still feeling the same effects. Another interesting fact about medical marijuana is that it is one of the earliest medical developments, when the drug was first used over 12,000 years ago in Asia. Emperor Shen Hung wrote of the medicinal properties of cannabis in his work, so even ancient doctors and societies knew things about medical marijuana.