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BY THE NUMBERS //

Legal Leaves

In 13 states, a doctor’s note will get you a “prescription” to puff.

Winter 2009
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medical marijuana

Masterfile

3,500
Approximate number of years since the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical textbook, described the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes

1
Weeks per month during which Queen Victoria steeped cannabis in her tea to calm menstrual pains

12
Approximate number of conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, for which the medicinal use of cannabis has been studied; though chiefly known for easing pain, it also suppresses nausea and may help protect the central nervous system.

3,400
Approximate number of scientific studies published in 2007 on the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Website on medicinal uses of cannabinoids, the active substances in cannabis plants

13
Number of states that allow the medicinal use of cannabis, including Michigan, whose citizens voted for legalization in 2008

0
Number of prescriptions written for marijuana each year; because it is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government, physicians in states where medical marijuana is legal may only recommend it to their patients.

10
Number of pages in an application to open a cannabis club, a dispensary protected by state medical marijuana laws, in San Francisco

200,000
Number of Californians who are card-carrying “doctor qualified” cannabis users

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