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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Marijuana and Pain Management
January 2000

Q. My patient, 72, has lost the majority of his bowel to cancer. He is in a lot of pain and it seems he's developed a prescription drug habit. His son recently suggested marijuana. Morally/legally, I realize it's not accepted, but do you think this is a medically-sound treatment?

A. The morality and legality of marijuana use is in a state of flux. A list of states which have passed medical marijuana laws by statute and/or voter initiative is available at the following URL: http://www.norml.org/medical/states.shtml

In addition to these legal concerns, however, it is established that marijuana does ease the pain of cancer and the nausea of cancer chemotherapy. So, to directly address your question: It as a medically sound treatment. You can learn more about the medical uses of marijuana at : http://www.norml.org/medical/index.shtml

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