This paper provides a review of the historical right of the people of the United States to seek, and use, alternative medicinal treatment options in the realm of managing both the pain and symptoms associated with a variety of illnesses. The focus then turns to the right involved: a patient’s ability to employ medical marijuana instead of a commonly prescribed narcotic or mass-market non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic (NSAIA) drug to manage pain and increase quality of life under the advice and consent of a treating physician. No one article has argued that there is a fundamental, important, or at least recognizable right associated with a patient and doctor’s ability to seek the best course of symptomatic drug therapy. Thus, the legal analysis in this piece explores jurisprudence relating to fundamental rights, focusing on those cases in which the Supreme Court has affirmed the right of an individual to personally control their own medical treatment. That right, based in the uniqueness of the individual patient, is then put to the constitutional test at every tier of analysis to show why the prohibition of cannabis in medical treatment and pain management is undue, unimportant, and irrational.
- medical marijuana,
- controlled substances act,
- pain management
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_timm/1/