I never quite processed the fact until I read this article, on the AMA recommending renewed study of the medical utility of cannabis, that the federal government actually restricts marijuana more severely than cocaine or morphine. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, meaning it's illegal and has no medical uses. Cocaine and morphine are controlled substances that do have some medical uses and can be prescribed. So even though coke is physically addictive while marijuana isn't, and morphine can kill you while marijuana can't, they're Schedule II. That's kind of nuts, and it puts into perspective the reason why people want to get it scientifically established that marijuana really does have some medical applications, particularly in fighting pain and nausea for cancer patients; the medical-marijuana movement is not purely a stalking horse for people who want to legalise and tax it like alcohol. (Though it is that, too.)
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