Background: One of the main arguments used by opponents of medical cannabis is that other medication works better. While this is often true, there are other factors to consider. Some effective pharmaceutical medication is also toxic with harmful side effects, whereas cannabis is relatively harmless and can diminish the need for pharmaceutical medication.

Findings: While some medical conditions may respond better to pharmaceutical medication, medical cannabis is often cheaper and more effective than pharmaceutical alternatives. For example, ASA has received countless reports from patients who have either significantly reduced or eliminated altogether their use of narcotics and pain medication by replacing it with medical cannabis.

Position: Medical cannabis is certainly not the BEST option for everyone, nor should it be the FIRST option for a physician to consider, but we believe most Americans agree with us that all patients and physicians should have as many effective options available to them as possible to combat pain or symptoms of a serious or chronic illness.