Medical marijuana is proving to be a health aid that is both natural and effective, yet the U.S. government is doggedly holding to its stance that marijuana should stay on the Schedule 1 dangerous drug list with “no currently accepted medical use.” So, while individual U.S. states are slowly moving to approve it within their own borders, Israel is marching ahead with research that could soon make medical marijuana its major export product. According to Newsweek , Israel has even come up with an inhaler that allows patients to take specific doses — and other news agencies are predicting Israel’s carpe diem will make them a global pot provider — to the tune of $30 billion over the next seven years. I’m sure that reports that Israel soon will be filing an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring its experimental medical marijuana stateside will come with their own set of objections from the ever-persistent U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which insists that no good can come from medical cannabis. I agree: Marijuana is easily one of the world's most controversial plants. But controversy shouldn’t be the determining component for the FDA’s and DEA’s stance on this important and highly underutilized healing agent. Because cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, it cannot legally be transported across state lines. As a result, the development of centralized growing and processing plants aimed at achieving nationwide distribution have been stalled. And that’s just plain wrong, as we’re NOT talking about smoking it and getting high, as that’s not the form that medical marijuana takes. Marijuana’s incredible healing properties come from its high cannabidiol (CBD) content, critical levels of medical terpenes, flavonoids, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the term medical marijuana refers to the use of the whole , unprocessed marijuana plant and its pure extracts to treat a disease or improve a symptom — and those components don’t make you high. Aside from the many things medical marijuana can treat — from treating mood disorders, degenerative neurological disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder to stopping seizures — it’s also far safer than opioids for treating pain . In fact, increasing research suggests medical marijuana is an effective agent for pain relief with fewer side effects and risks compared to prescription opioids.