Cannabis is an effective treatment for pain following spinal cord injury that should be available to patients and researchers. The major argument against the rescheduling of cannabis is that the published research is not convincing. This argument is disingenuous at best, given that the evidence has been presented and rejected at many points during the political dialog. Moreover, the original decision to criminalize cannabis did not utilize scientific or medical data. There is tension between the needs of a society to protect the vulnerable by restricting the rights of others to live well and with less pain. It is clear that this 70-year war on cannabis has had little effect in controlling the supply of cannabis. Prohibition can never succeed; “it is a tyranny from which every independent mind revolts.” People living with chronic pain should not have to risk addiction, social stigma, restrictions on employment and even criminal prosecution in order to deal with their pain. It is time to end the shenanigans and have an open, transparent discussion of the true benefits of this much-beleaguered medicine.
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