AMA Continues to Oppose Marijuana but Softens Language

The American Medical Association House of Delegates voted to continue its official position that marijuana is a public health concern but also adopted some language that appeared to recognize the American public’s change in attitude toward marijuana.

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Marijuana lawyers in Los Angeles are encouraged to see the American Medical Association altering its point of view but urge a more positive and appropriate stance on medicinal marijuana from the American Medical Association.

The American Medical Association has encouraged altering state laws in an effort to reduce the severity of punishments since 1977. The language addressing this effort now reflects a more lenient view espousing public health based strategies instead of incarceration for marijuana use.

In another encouraging action the American Medical Association delegates determined that modern federal anti-marijuana policies have proven ineffective.

In addition to this conclusion the delegates encouraged a review of the benefits and risks of the laws recently adopted by Washington and Colorado.

The delegates representing California proposed a measure to amend the AMA’s policy to reflect a more neutral position toward marijuana legalization. However, this amendment was defeated in conjunction with another amendment that would advocate for the sale of marijuana in a regulated manner at the state level.

With regard to the medicinal use of marijuana the American Medical Association renewed its position that more marijuana research is needed and that the process should be expedited to obtain meaningful results as quickly as possible.

The American Medical Association also announced that the drug’s current status as a schedule 1 controlled substance should be reviewed and more clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines must be conducted.

The delegates also took the position that more research is needed to determine alternate delivery methods for the substance.

Unfortunately, the American Medical Association was very cautious in its suggestions and even included language which makes it apparent that the call for additional research is not a direct endorsement for state based medicinal marijuana programs. Despite ample evidence that medicinal marijuana helps patients suffering from many diseases – the AMA also stated that it does not acknowledge therapeutic use of marijuana as meeting the current standards for prescription drugs.

Within the text of the policy regarding cannabis for medicinal use the American Medical Association specifically urged the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the National Institutes of Health to develop procedures and provide grant money for clinical research regarding medicinal marijuana use.

Lastly, the AMA stressed the importance of free and unfettered exchange of research and information in an effort to provide patients with the most effective care.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Additional Resources:

Medical-pot sellers fear being ‘thrown under bus’, Oct. 20, 2013, Associated Press
More Blog Entries:

The Feds Backtrack on Marijuana Policy: Planned “Enforcement Actions” in Colorado, Nov 28, 2013, Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Colorado Voters Support Tax on Marijuana Sales, Nov. 24, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog