What You Should Know: The Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana

What You Should Know is an ongoing series covering a range of informational topics relevant to current and future healthcare professionals.
The numbers alone make it a significant issue: as of 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana – and 9 more states are currently working on legislation to do the same. Two more states – Washington and Colorado – have gone so far as to legalize its recreational use. It is likely, therefore, that medical students today will feel the effects of medical marijuana use when they go into practice for themselves.
Medical – and recreational – marijuana use is a complex issue with medical, political, and social implications. Below are evidence-based arguments for and against this use to give student doctors the opportunity to understand the finer points of this controversy.

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A U.S. Medical Student’s Experience in Germany

As a medical student from the U.S., it is always fascinating to experience how medical care is delivered in other countries. As our health care expenditures balloon to unprecedented levels, the topics of medical care and medicine in general have never been more pervasive. From this dialogue, comparisons between the U.S. and international health care systems are naturally made, but few people outside of those who do medical tourism, international rotations, or medical humanitarian work actually experience the differences firsthand. Experiencing medicine in countries with drastically different systems than the U.S. is highly valuable for U.S. medical students, both in clinical practice and in understanding the business and legal aspects of medicine.

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