An epidemic of opioid abuse is ravaging the United States and, as we look for ways to respond to it, some see cannabis as part of the solution, while others see it as part of the problem. This is just one area in which unbiased scientific research is necessary, but outdated federal legislation, having concluded almost 50 years ago that there is no medical value to cannabis, is blocking all meaningful efforts to understand the real benefits and risks of the plant.

There are critical open questions about cannabis, and without research conducted under rigorous scientific standards, we will not find answers. If you think these questions don’t really matter in daily life, let’s look at three scenarios.

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