One of the major benefits of marijuana over pharmaceuticals is that it is not as addictive as most pain and anti-convulsive medication are. Many people cannot handle the very powerful man-made drugs that are generally prescribed for chronic conditions, like fentanyl, oxy’s, morphine and anti-convulsive medication. The side effects of these strong drugs are also cause for concern.
Synthetic drugs are very expensive, and with our over-burdened health system, marijuana is potentially healing to our pocket-books as well as our bodies. Opiate abuse and addiction is one of the largest problems facing our youth and it doesn’t help to have these prescription drugs an unquestioned component of our health system, while a natural and affordable alternative is available.
With cannabis, people are often able to get off pharmaceuticals all together, or to substantially reduce the amounts they need. Smoking marijuana is the most unhealthy manner of ingestion but there are plenty of healthy alternatives these days.
In an eight year study comparing the number of deaths from marijuana use to seventeen FDA approved drugs conducted from January 1st, 1997 to June 30, 2005, showed zero direct deaths from marijuana and 11,687 from the seventeen FDA approved drugs. Twelve of these seventeen drugs were ones that are often prescribed in place of medical marijuana. The full study and the results including details of the drugs compared can be found here.