Cannabis legalization is currently a topic of significant interest within the American healthcare system. Existing research has demonstrated the effects of medical cannabis in alleviating manifestations of several common health conditions which affect many Americans, including cancer and chronic pain. Additionally, research has demonstrated that medical cannabis programs have positive implications for the objectives of government health initiatives such as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Triple Aim. Economic benefits from cannabis taxation have also been documented in states with active medical cannabis programs. While federal restrictions inhibit extensive cannabis research, the legalization of medical cannabis has significant implications for the American healthcare system in terms of cost, access, and quality. This paper is a review of current literature and research regarding medical cannabis legalization in the United States.

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Jennifer Hight, OTD, OTR/L

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