• NPR

Since last week, NPR has been running a series on marijuana in the United States called "The New Marijuana." Monday, they tackled medical marijuana.

"By approving the use of marijuana as a medicine — with varying kinds of restrictions — these jurisdictions are bypassing the federal government's elaborate processes for approving medicines."

The story goes on to detail Ellen Lenox Smith, a 60-year-old grandmother battling two debilitating illnesses with marijuana.

"But in Smith's case, he says, 'she had absolutely no other option. So very, very hesitantly, I said, 'Listen, why don't you try medicinal marijuana?'"

Smith says, "I can remember laughing and thinking, 'I wish my parents were alive to hear this conversation!' You spend your life being told to stay away from certain things, and here I have a doctor suggesting it could help me.'"

It continues, saying federal research is still incomplete, but the Federal Drug Administration is open to more.

"The FDA specifically opposes smoking marijuana for medical purposes. But spokeswoman Karen Riley said in an e-mail message that the FDA 'is willing to consider proposals by investigators to conduct clinical trials using marijuana.'"

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