Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Supreme Court Ponders Medical Marijuana Case

Patients Say Federal Government Oversteps Authority in Raids


"There is no doubt that marijuana does reduce pain. The big question is whether marijuana is better than other drugs," says Steven Childers, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at Wake Forest University who was a member of the panel that authored the report.

The report also stressed that smoking was not a safe or effective way to administer marijuana because it is carcinogenic and cannot deliver a consistent dose of marijuana's active ingredients. Childers added that most doctors he knows support allowing terminally ill patients to use marijuana, since the benefits of the drug are likely to outweigh the risks.

But federal drug officials have warned that allowing states to legalize marijuana undermines their ability to enforce drug laws. John Walters, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, has repeatedly warned that medical legalization sends a mixed message to youths who are considering trying drugs.

Supporters of the Bush administration's case also say that voter initiatives in California and other states sidestep drug safety regulation usually reserved for the FDA. Allowing voters to choose which drugs to approve could cause a return to the pre-FDA days when traveling salesmen sold bogus "snake oil" treatments to vulnerable patients, says David Evans, a lawyer who helped author an amicus brief for the Drug Free America Foundation in support of the federal government.

"We would have 50 different standards in 50 different states and we would have no trust in our medical system," he tells WebMD.

Eric E. Sterling, executive director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, said state laws are necessary because the federal government has balked at widespread evidence that marijuana is safe. "We wouldn't be in this place if bureaucrats hadn't rejected science."

Review boards overseeing government research grants are "excited" about the potential of marijuana to treat disease symptoms, said Childers, who serves on several such panels. The challenge is studying the drug in a way that reliably measures the drug dose that patients get and its side effects.

"So many people have so many agendas that it's really hard to separate the medicine from the politics," he said.

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas