Top Health Stories of 2012: The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

The Dr. Oz Show medical staff chose the top most innovative, interesting and influential health headlines of 2012. Each day until the new year, we’ll round up and revisit the major headlines that had a profound effect on science, medicine and your health over the last 12 months.

Headline #8: Marijuana Legal in Two US States After 2012 Election

Voters in both Colorado and Washington approved bills that would make recreational marijuana use legal in their states.

Medical use of marijuana is legal in 18 states and The District of Columbia. However, this is the first time that recreational marijuana use has been made legal. Medical marijuana is currently used for various conditions including glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS. Montel Williams, a frequent guest of The Dr. Oz Show, launched a personal campaign to find a cure for MS and legalize medical marijuana. This transition from medical to recreational will alter our views of using a controversial drug for different purposes.

It is also creating a debate over state rights and federal law as Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering taking legal action against the two states, citing that it is still illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

The new law took effect in Washington on December 6 and in Colorado on December 10.

Read More of 2012’s Top Health Stories: