The perennial debate over whether sick people should be allowed to smoke marijuana to help ease pain or nausea caused by chemotherapy or other ailments is heating up. Five states have legalized possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Maine votes on a medical marijuana initiative this fall. A March report by the prestigious Institute of Medicine fueled the controversy when it said smoking marijuana is risky but also recommended that critically ill patients be allowed to use it in closely monitored trials. Critics of medical marijuana argue there is no scientific proof the drug is therapeutic, but scientists insist that marijuana's constituents could someday produce safe medications for a variety of ailments.
The debate over medical marijuana is heating up.
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