Just as California enters its new year with wide-ranging marijuana legalization, a new partnership has been formed between a popular social network specializing in online medical communities and the pro-cannabis media outlet, The Fresh Toast.
The partnership between The Fresh Toast and Skipta, which describes itself as "the leading social network of specialized online medical communities for verified healthcare professionals," is intended to allow patients seeking medical marijuana treatment options to receive advice from qualified medical professionals. Skipta's social network includes 800,000 medical professionals, 600,000 of whom are physicians.
"This partnership gives the public confidence and security in knowing that a medical professional, who has nothing to gain personally, will be able to share an honest opinion of treatment options," JJ McKay, the founder and publisher of The Fresh Toast, explained. "This partnership does not view cannabis as a silver bullet that can cure chronic diseases, but rather as another important treatment option for patients."
McKay also noted that medical marijuana is currently legal in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia.
The partnership between a top social network for medical professionals and a pro-cannabis website goes against the anti-marijuana philosophy propounded by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Last month Sessions, who is a well-known opponent of marijuana legalization, responded to a question about drug policy by declaring that "marijuana is not a healthy substance" and insisting that "I don't think America's going to be a better place if marijuana's sold in every corner grocery store," according to ABC News.
Sessions also infamously told the Senate during his November 2016 confirmation hearing, "Good people don’t smoke marijuana," according to The Washington Post. He added, "We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger."
There is no solid medical consensus on the physiological benefits of using marijuana. In 2015, a systematic review of studies on the drug's medical benefits found that it had distinctly beneficial effects on nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy and pain relief, as well as possible benefits for dealing with anxiety and sleep disorders, according to The New York Times. Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, however, it is extremely difficult for extensive research to be conducted to ascertain the full range of its potential medical benefits.