Medical marijuana provides an effective treatment to cancer patients, epileptics, chronic pain sufferers and those with several other conditions. Although medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, it continues to be illegal under federal law. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act—the same category as the most dangerous drugs available. Nor is it approved by the FDA. Given these conditions, it is not surprising that health insurers do not provide coverage for this medicine. This is expensive for patients that use the drug because it could cost as much as $1,000 a month for daily users. Unfortunately, changes to the drug’s classification are not politically feasible, which impedes clinical studies that might facilitate approval for medical purposes.
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