Is Marijuana Good Medicine

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Is marijuana good medicine?
Many claims about pot's beneficial effects just don't hold up.
July 26, 2012|David Sack | Dr. David Sack is a psychiatrist and addiction specialist. He is chief executive of Promises Treatment Centers and Elements Behavioral Health in Southern California | | | |

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The L.A. City Council to ban marijuana shops outright until it has clearer… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, the culmination of years of controversy over the sale of pot here. Meanwhile, in Oakland, a federal crackdown closed the nation's largest dispensary amid protests and demonstrations. But authorities rarely seem to address the real issue about marijuana in California: Is it good medicine?
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, July 31, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 13 Editorial Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
Marijuana: A July 26 Op-Ed article on medical marijuana stated that the nation's largest dispensary, Harborside Health Center in Oakland, had been shut down in a federal crackdown. The center is fighting a federal property forfeiture order and remains open.

Some proponents of medical marijuana argue that pot is "natural" and therefore better, or at least no worse, than legally prescribed drugs, which may be addictive and may carry dangerous side effects. But natural is not the standard for whether a drug is safe and effective.
Marijuana advocates also say that physicians who warn against marijuana merely want to push prescriptions. But just because some doctors practice bad medicine with legal drugs doesn't make marijuana good medicine. In most cases, it isn't.
Anyone who wants to get a medical marijuana card knows there are unscrupulous doctors who will give you a recommendation with few questions asked. Without doubt, medical marijuana hands a get-out-of-jail-free card to people who just want to get high. Those

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