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article imageAMA Urges the FEDS to Stop Calling Marijuana Dangerous

By Joan Firstenberg     Nov 12, 2009 in Health
Finally, there could be a break in the way the government perceives medical marijuana. Right now it's classified as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use.
But the powerful prestigious doctor's group, the American Medical Association has now changed its weed policy saying it would like to promote clinical research on it, and perhaps develop cannabis-based medicines.
This is a big change for the AMA. The Los Angeles Times reports that the organization, with about 250,000 member doctors has been staunchly opposed to the use of marijuana for medicine since 1997
contending that it should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, which is the most restrictive category. It's the category which also includes heroin and LSD.
AMA board member Dr. Edward Langston points out at least one reason for their change is that there have only been a few studies of the drug, and those were insufficient to base any decisions on. The organization took a big step forward at a recent meeting in Houston, when it was noted that weed was at one time linked by the federal government to homicidal mania. But in 1996, California voters approved the use of medical marijuana, and that began the steady but sure movement of weed into mainstream society.
This year, the Obama administration really took the bull by the horns, ordering federal narcotics agents not to arrest medical marijuana users and providers who are following state laws. And now polls are showing there is broadening support for the legalization of marijuana.
Thirteen states already allow the use of medical marijuana, and about a dozen more are thinking about it.
The AMA's new policy isn't completely forgiving. It states.
"This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product."
Marijuana supporters are pleased. Bruce Mirken is a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.
"They're clearly taking an open-minded stance and acknowledging that the evidence warrants a review. That is very big. It's not surprising that they are moving cautiously and one step at a time, but this is still a very significant change."
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