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Medical Marijuana

What is Medical Marijuana? 
The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines medical marijuana as using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. Medical marijuana is NOT authorized for use by military members.  
It is important to know that though marijuana is legal in some states, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved marijuana for medical purposes. There are two drugs, dronabinol and nabilone, which contain cannabinoids that are FDA approved for the purpose of treating nausea. 

Negative Impact of Marijuana  
Marijuana, even if it is medically prescribed, can have a wide range of both physical and mental effects,  which include: 

  • Breathing illnesses
  • Birth defects 
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia

What is it Used For?
Medical marijuana can be prescribed for various ailments, some of which include:

  • Muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea from chemotherapy 
  • Poor appetite and weight loss caused by chronic illness, such as HIV, or nerve pain
  • Seizure disorders
  • Crohn's disease

How is it Used?
Medical marijuana may be:

  • Smoked
  • Vaporized or “vaped” (heated until active ingredients are released, but no smoke is formed)
  • Eaten (usually in the form of baked goods or candy)
  • Taken as a liquid extract

Be Aware  
Although various states have passed laws for medical or recreational use of marijuana or its derivatives, it is still illegal for military personnel to use marijuana, regardless of the state, district, or territorial legislation where they are located.  

For more information, contact your local Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC). SACC offers a wide array of prevention, intervention, and counseling services to promote the readiness of Marines and their families.  

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