Medical Marijuana: Legalize AND Control It

I recently read an article in the LA Times about the medicinal use of marijuana, and the CA Medical Association’s adoption of a “legalize it” stance.

Dr Paul Krawitz weighs in on the legalization of medical marijuana

Several US States have already legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes

Wouldn’t it be great if the medicinal value could be separated from the drug’s high?

During my glaucoma fellowship at Mount Sinai Medical Center, we actually performed a study in which eyedrops containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – were used on patients with glaucoma (elevated eye pressure). Unfortunately, the penetration of THC into the eye was poor, and THC eyedrops were of no medical value.

Yet, plant-sourced medication is the foundation of many therapeutic medications. Digitalis, for example, is a common heart medication.

Although widespread abuses exist, no one questions the value of opiates in the treatment of severe pain. Likewise, there are real uses for marijuana, including treatment of intractable nausea, such as experienced by people undergoing chemotherapy.

The answer is to both legalize it and control it – just as is done with opiates. Such a solution doesn’t guarantee that abuses won’t occur, but it provides a compromise solution for those vying for and fighting against its legalization.*


Paul Krawitz, M.D., President
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