Before answering the question, let’s consider why does the question arise at all?

Marijuana has been a proven aid in chronic pain management, dealing with nausea during chemotherapy, anorexia, neuroplasticity, and emotional, vascular and digestive regulation. While dependency on weed is possible, serious addiction is observed in only 9% of marijuana users. Unlike the legal alcohol, it’s impossible to overdose on cannabis and it has no proven long-term issues. And yet marijuana is treated as an illicit drug and banned in several countries. 

History provides the answer to this prejudice. Marijuana originated in Asia about 500BC where it was used purely medically. Spread to Europe and American colonies later, while people were aware of hemp’s psychoactive properties and used it recreationally, it was still considered medical and used as ropes, paper, clothing and food. North America was introduced to recreational marijuana via Mexico during the early 1900s. Massive unemployment and social unrest during the great depression was blamed on marijuana and its immigrant associations and it fell prey to the prohibition era. 

Dangerous opioids and narcotics are prescribed for chronic pain which come with adverse long-term health issues, mental and social disorders associated with addiction and also have mind altering effects. And as such medical marijuana proves to be a much better alternative and a great shift in users is already visible. Legalizing medical marijuana would also prevent the lacing of drugs when obtained from illegal mediums. 

Pain makes you unreasonable. Pain robs you of the ability to think and strategise and thus providing a fairly harmless way out is much better than pushing the people to harder and often life-threatening alternatives just because of an unfortunate reputation.