MN’s medical marijuana problematic

In the upcoming weeks, medical marijuana will become legal in Minnesota with a doctor’s recommendation. Physicians will only provide a simple “yes” or “no” on a Health Department form. This is symptomatic of the skeptical and cautious attitude toward marijuana exhibited in Minnesota; at a federal level, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug, deemed to have no real medical value. 
 
With enrollment in medical marijuana programs beginning June 1, the Minnesota Medical Association has done its best to provide necessary education and training to those who need them, but many doctors still plan on opting out of providing a recommendation. With marijuana’s status as an illegal drug at the federal level, some feel that participating in such a program will come back to haunt them. Others say they need to see hard evidence before they believe all of marijuana’s purported medical benefits. 
 
Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use, 20 states allow medical use and 12 states permit medical use of a non-psychoactive marijuana strain, but the federal government has not reclassified the drug. 
 
Nationwide, the 2014 General Social Survey — a standard for determining public opinion every two years — showed that 52 percent of Americans support complete legalization. In Minnesota, a recent survey by Public Policy Polling highlighted that 49 percent of Minnesotans would like the drug to be legal and regulated like it is in Colorado, for example.
 
Determining the long-term effects, benefits and drawbacks of the drug will require research. Without federal approval, the possibility of legal consequences will continue to plague the issue.