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Legalizing Medicinal Marijuana
Controversy has shadowed the use of marijuana in the U.S. for years (e.g., a movie, “Reefer Madness” debuted in 1936). The debate really took off in the 1960s when young Baby Boomers adopted cannabis partly as a means of free expression and protest, but mainly to get high, while opponents labeled it a “gateway drug.” However, a number of research studies have shown that marijuana can ease the symptoms of chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and cancer. Indeed, the use of medical marijuana is now legal in 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.