What is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is the use of the unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. The use of the marijuana plant as a medicine is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Currently, the FDA has approved two medications in pill form, dronabinol and nabilone, used to treat nausea and boost appetite. These pills are made from chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids and do not contain the main mind-altering ingredient, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
There is no research showing that the use of medical marijuana during pregnancy or breastfeeding is safe. Studies have shown that moderate amounts of THC given to pregnant or nursing women could have long-lasting effects on the child, including abnormal patterns of social interactions and learning issues.
What’s the Concern for Parents?
Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act is a cause of concern for parents. Not only has it made marijuana more accessible for youth (those under 21 with a medical card can still purchase medical marijuana), but it can reduce youth’s perception of risk or harm from its use.
Under U.S. law, marijuana is a “Schedule I” controlled substance, the category that represents the highest level of danger for all drugs. Cocaine and heroin are other examples of Schedule I drugs, categorized as such because these drugs have no approved medical use. Because it is a Schedule I drug, sale of medical marijuana through pharmacies is illegal. There are no “prescriptions” for marijuana, just a recommendation that it might provide relief.
In Michigan, medical marijuana production and sales are not regulated for purity, quality, dosage, content, or safety.