5 Things You Didn’t Know About Medical Marijuana

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.

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Marijuana reform is coming to the US Virgin Islands as well as Trinidad and Tobago after both groups of Caribbean islands changed their cannabis laws recently. US Virgin IslandsThis week, the US Virgin Islands' newly elected governor Albert Bryan Jr. (D) signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in the US territory. The legalization movement has been steadily growing in the Virgin Islands since 2014 when voters approved a referendum in favor of legalizing the substance.

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