There's a murky line between the use of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes, according to Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, which promotes research into the therapeutic use of cannabis.
"There's a fine line between getting high and feeling better in that way and feeling better in other ways. So I would say there's a rather murky line separating recreational and medicinal use," Lee told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"You can't really fully realize the therapeutic potential of marijuana if it's still illegal for recreational use because a lot of people through recreational use have discovered therapeutic value in it."
Lee, who is in favor of the legalization of marijuana, says he doesn't buy the argument that marijuana is a so-called "gateway" drug to harder narcotics.
"The idea that marijuana is a stepping stone to harder drugs has been pretty much debunked by several government commissions in the United States and other countries," he said.
"[What] the National Academy of Sciences ... found, when they did surveys of inner cities in the United States, 35 different cities, [was] that when marijuana was more available, hard drug use was less evident and that when marijuana was less available, hard drug use was more. And that's just the opposite of what the gateway idea was suggesting."
Lee, who is author of "Smoke Signals," a social history of cannabis,
said that another study shows that in states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, traffic accidents actually go down.
"[That's] because there's less drunk driving because the more people smoke marijuana, the less they use alcohol," he said.
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