Last updated on: 1/15/2019 | Author:

Cleveland Clinic Biography

Now Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“Q: As more states legalize ‘medical marijuana’, should it be recommended for patients?

A: At Cleveland Clinic, we believe there are better alternatives.

In the world of healthcare, a medication is a drug that has endured extensive clinical trials, public hearings and approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Medications are tested for safety and efficacy. They are closely regulated, from production to distribution. They are accurately dosed, down to the milligram.

Medical marijuana is none of those things…

Patients deserve to know that whatever they are using to control their symptoms is safe and effective. And clinicians need to have confidence that a treatment will work as intended.”

Paul Terpeluk, DO, “Should ‘Medical Marijuana’ Be Recommended for Patients? Why Our Answer Is ‘No,'”, Jan. 10, 2019

[Editor’s Note: The Cleveland Clinic made a Not Clearly Pro or Con statement in a Mar. 2, 2012 email to “Marijuana use and possession is illegal in the state of Ohio. Cleveland Clinic does not recommend the use of illegal substances to treat health conditions.”

Prior to that, the Cleveland Clinic also expressed a Not Clearly Pro or Con position in its May 21, 2009 website article titled “Alternative and Complementary Therapies for MS,” excerpted below.]

“The use of marijuana to treat any illness remains highly controversial. Some people with MS claim that smoking marijuana helps relieve spasticity and other MS-related symptoms. However, there is little evidence to date that marijuana really works. Research is ongoing to answer this important question. Until more is known, doctors do not recommend the use of marijuana to treat MS, as the drug is associated with serious long-term side effects such as heart attack or memory loss.” While the excerpt seems clearly Con to marijuana use for treatment of MS symptoms, it was not considered clearly Con to our broader core question “Should marijuana be a medical option?”

Alternative and Complementary Therapies for MS Cleveland Clinic website, May 21, 2009


“Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multi-specialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education.

Today, with more than 1,400 beds on Cleveland Clinic main campus and 4,538 beds system-wide, Cleveland Clinic is one of the largest and most respected hospitals in the country.”

“Facts & Figures,” Cleveland Clinic website (accessed Jan. 15, 2019)


“The mission of Cleveland Clinic is to provide better care of the sick, investigation into their problems, and further education of those who serve.”

“Mission, Vision & Values,” Cleveland Clinic website (accessed Jan. 15, 2019)

A nonprofit group medical practice
Quoted in:
  1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?
  2. Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for the Symptoms of Hepatitis C?