Because of its therapeutic potential, medicinal marijuana is being prescribed by an increasing number of clinicians for various disorders. However, because of the federal criminalization of marijuana, evidence-based research into its effectiveness has been hindered, and many clinicians still question its scientific legitimacy.
Marijuana, also known as Cannabis sativa, has been used since ancient times for therapeutic, spiritual, and recreational purposes. Clinicians in the United States prescribed marijuana for many different conditions until it was declared illegal and removed from the U.S. Pharmacopeia in 1942.
The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 placed marijuana in the Schedule I category as a substance with high potential for abuse, the same as illicit street drugs. Although many anecdotal reports and research studies show its therapeutic value for a number of different disorders, the use of medicinal marijuana has been a controversial topic.
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