While there are arguments on both sides of the debate, medical marijuana has several key advocates that give it a significant amount of credibility.
1. Consumer Reports - The organization has said that individuals who are suffering from AIDS or some form of terminal cancer, the benefits provided by the drug appear to be much more significant than any of the risks, either those that are substantiated or those that are even suspected. They also argued that, for the same reason the FDA is quick to approve new cancer medications, they should also be lenient with the use of medical marijuana for those who are terminally ill.
2. American College of Physicians - The ACP doesn't strongly argue in favor of the benefits of medical marijuana, but they do argue that it should not be classified as a schedule I controlled substance. They argue that there are circumstances in which it can be effective, and that it is relatively safe compared to other drugs with the same classification. They most strongly argue for legal protection for physicians recommending it or patients taking it on recommendation.
3. Jocelyn Elders, MD - Elders claims that the herbal remedy is less toxic than many of the drugs prescribed by doctors on a daily basis. She also claims that there is "overwhelming" evidence showing that it is effective at easing the symptoms of certain kinds of nausea, pain, and vomiting. It is especially beneficial for people dealing with cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis, or the medications that they use to treat these diseases.
4. Donald Abrams, MD - In the Annals of Internal Medicine, Abrams stated that AIDS patients who had either smoked marijuana or used the medication in a pill has a more effective immune system then those who had used a fake version of the medication. In addition to this, they apparently had a better appetite, because they gained, on average, four more pounds than those who were taking the false version.
5. Judge Francis L. Young - Young is a DEA Administrative Law Judge. He stated that the DEA should not prevent people from taking advantage of the beneficial effects of medical marijuana if they were in need of it. He stated that a 9-6-88 ruling clearly demonstrated several benefits of cannabis as a medical drug.
6. Gregory T. Carter, MD - Carter argues that Marinol is not a substitute for marijuana, which contains several active ingredients other than the THC that Marinol is intended to simulate.
7. Lester Grinspoon, MD - On the risks of the drug's use, Grinspoon of the Harvard Medical School stated that the evidence of marijuana's supposed health risks is lacking. While the drug has been "smoked widely" throughout Western civilization for more than four decades, he noted that there hasn't been a single case linking the use of marijuana to lung cancer or emphysema.