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Letter: Medical cannabis can be very effective

Marijuana plants grown at a 54,000-square-foot cultivation facility

Marijuana plants grown at a 54,000-square-foot cultivation facility in Las Vegas in 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ethan Miller

After reading two May 24 letters headlined “Beware of the costs of legal marijuana,” I must respond to two proven erroneous statements:

  • Marijuana is not a gateway drug; rather, medical cannabis is proven to be an exit drug, and is key to reducing the opioid epidemic in this country.
  • In terms of economics, the simple answer is that by loosening regulation of the plant itself, the profit motive inherent to the pharmaceutical industry would be minimized or eliminated.

Understanding the effects of the two main components of cannabis is necessary to self-regulate one’s use, just as one is expected to not “drink and drive,” one should not drive after using higher doses of THC-rich cannabis. And I wish the media would stop reporting accidents as “pot-involved,” as the marijuana sold illegally on the streets is not pure, and likely tainted with other psychoactive drugs. Cannabis is a highly effective medical modality in treating myriad diseases and conditions.

Barbara Shey,


Editor’s note: The writer is a registered nurse and member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, an educational and advocacy group.


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