What some of the people answering your question don't understand is that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level and the federal government does not recognize states laws regarding medical marijuana.
Of course doctors should not be punished. Marijuana is a wonderful drug with many benefits to ones health. It's a shame that so many people still deny this truth after so many have proved these benefits. Doctors are putting their license on the line in some cases.
You don't seem to understand much about marijuana at all. It has a LARGE number of health benefits and, in reality, few risk factors. Consider all the over-the-counter and prescription medicines that people are given by doctors. They pass dangerous drugs out like candy. Drugs that are destructive to the body and easy to be abused and many that can cause overdose. Marijuana, however, you can't overdose on. I have seen patients who go from taking 10 different pills with uncomfortable and dangerous side effects, move to marijuana and they are completely satisfied with it as a medication. Taking away the risk factors of the pills and making medicating much more simple.
Not just cancer patients or terminally ill patients are prescribed medication. In fact, my wifes cousin who lives in Colorado has frequent migraines and he is a certified patient. When I move there I intend on getting it for my bad knee.
Again, not just for terminally ill patients. And the legal amount varies from state to state, but in some states a fairly large amount can be possessed by a registered patient. I believe often times it's around an ounce. That's considered a pretty fair amount for one person.
Talk about blowing something out of proportion. Terrible to breath in for those surrounding? Hardly. How about going to a restaurant to have to breath in someones cigarette smoke? Now THAT is a dangerous substance. You are completely generalizing all patients. Not everyone who uses marijuana, be it recreationaly or medicinally, will abuse it or "want to be high 24/7".
As far as Marinol is concerned, of course no one wants to use it. It's synthetic and not as effective and has increased risk factors.
I have come across many patients who choose not to even smoke marijuana. They would rather vaporize it or eat it in food. Which rids you of that smoke "annoyance".
And, by the way, there is no such thing as overdosing with marijuana. Nor is there such a thing as over-medicating with it. Taking more than you need will not have adverse effects like most medicines will.
Again, smoking is not the only method of medicating with marijuana. Also, there is absolutely NO link to cancer and marijuana. There are carcinogens found in marijuana smoke but far less dangerous than cigarette smoke.
Obviously I am very passionate about this, which is why often times my answers are lengthy. I also like to respond to other people answering the question because I feel the need to get the TRUTH out there. There is an incredible amount of lies, stereotypes and misinformation in regards to marijuana.