Increasing Medical Usage

The disconnect between state laws and federal classification

The increasing medical usage of cannabis in various states presents a significant challenge to its Schedule I classification, which asserts no accepted medical use. As more states legalize cannabis for medical purposes, the disconnect between state laws and federal classification becomes more pronounced.

Medical cannabis is used to treat a variety of conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, with some patients finding relief where other treatments have failed. This growing use is supported by a body of research that suggests cannabis has therapeutic potential for these and other conditions. However, the federal classification as a Schedule I substance limits the availability of high-quality research-grade cannabis, hindering the ability of scientists to conduct rigorous clinical trials.

The increasing medical use of cannabis across the states is a clear indicator that many in the medical community and the public see value in its therapeutic properties. This situation creates a complex legal landscape where patients and providers in states where medical cannabis is legal may still be at risk under federal law. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides updated information on state medical marijuana laws, which can be found at

Increasing Medical Usage
S3 Collective December 13, 2023
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