AMA changes stance on Medical Marijuanna

Yesterday, the American Medical Association — the U.S.’s largest and most influential medical association — passed a new policy stance calling for a government review of marijuana’s legal status.

Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, grouping marijuana with drugs like heroin, LSD, and PCP, which are deemed to have no accepted medical uses and considered unsafe for use even under medical supervision.

The AMA’s new policy “urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods.” It goes on to explain that this position should not be construed as an endorsement of state medical marijuana programs.

This is a major shift from the AMA’s previous position, which recommended that marijuana be kept in Schedule I. What’s more, the AMA also rejected an attempt to urge doctors not to participate in state medical marijuana programs by recommending marijuana to their patients.

This shift, coming from America’s most cautious and conservative major medical organization, is historic. The AMA’s previous position was often cited by our opponents as evidence that medical marijuana’s utility was not widely accepted. This change will make the opposition’s argument significantly more difficult to make.

Since 2006, MPP has been instrumental in persuading medical organizations like the American College of Physicians to issue positions calling on the government to relax restrictions against medical marijuana — with the ultimate goal of persuading the AMA to do the same. Yesterday’s news is a big step toward that goal.

If you want to help us continue this work, we could really use your help. If you haven’t yet donated to MPP’s work this year, or if you can make an additional contribution, please visit our donation page today to help out.

Thanks for anything you can do to help us keep racking up the victories!

Sincerely,

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