Monday, June 06, 2005

Medicinal Marijuana

In a six to three decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has outlaws the use of medicinal marijuana. What this means is that states who have laws allowing it can no longer protect users of medicinal marijuana from arrest and prosecution. This article at KSL reports on it, and quotes several people who have been helped by medicinal marijuana. One woman involved in the case is quoted as saying, "I'm going to have to be prepared to be arrested."

The article is pretty fair minded in it's reporting, addressing an issue of state vs. federal law, and so on, but it misses one valuable piece of information. In fact, this missing bit of information (almost) completely diffuses the arguments for, or against, medicinal marijuana. It already exists as a completely legal medication called Marinol.

Marinol is already prescribed by doctors for most of the major problems that medicinal marijuana is recommended for, and it's legal. Even the U.S. Department of Justice mentions it on their website.

On the other hand, cost may be the biggest issue. I did some research and found that neither IHC nor Blue Cross Blue shield will cover it as one of their "preferred" medicines. In fact, I couldn't find it in any of their medicinal databases. I wasn't able to find any information as whether the University of Utah medical system covered it or not. The question then becomes, why not?

In the interest of fairness, I'm including a link to this article talking about the ineffectiveness of Merinol. I have issues with the arguments the article makes (it seems to commit a few logical fallacies), but I'll leave the final decisions up to you.

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