AMA gives medical marijuana a boost

Jenny Decker RN's picture

The American Medical Association gave medical marijuana a boost on Tuesday. The AMA has urged the federal government to loosen its hold on the drug by reconsidering the classification of marijuana. Currently the classification of marijuana is that of a dangerous drug that has no medical use. This pushes the ability to do more research on the drug.

There has been over 30 years of research on medical marijuana, yet, very little due to the fact that marijuana is a Schedule I, in addition to heroin and LSD, and so the ability to study it is limited. However, it has been shown to help many people who are suffering and nothing else helps them. These are not people who are criminals or addicted. These are people who have cancer, maybe dying, and are in serious pain and nausea and vomiting.


Over 13 states allow medical marijuana and nearly a dozen more are considering the issue. The boost by the AMA is in response to President Obama’s administration speeding up a new policy based on no longer prosecuting those who use medical marijuana or the suppliers. Polls have shown that there is support for the legalization of cannabis. The federal government once considered marijuana to be linked to homicidal mania, writes the Los Angeles Times.

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. This was a significant step in the fight to bring the drug to the help of those who are in need medically. The American Medical Association just took another leap for the chronically ill who might benefit from the medical purposes of marijuana. The AMA began reconsidering it’s stand on marijuana after a medical student did some research on the effects of cannabis on 186 chronically ill patients. Sunil Aggarwal, a medical student at the University of Washington, is that student. He states “I had reason to believe that there was medical good that could come from these products, and I wanted to see AMA policy reflect that.”

The AMA petitioned for the change in classification of marijuana through the Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA currently classifies drugs into five schedules. Schedule I is the most dangerous and is not used for medical purposes. Schedule II drugs are those such as morphine and Percocet. They are considered to be have a high potential for abuse. The AMA did leave a sentence in their new policy on Tuesday that 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.”

The federal government has remained quite mute about the whole thing. The DEA states that marijuana is still a Schedule I drug and it will still be treated as such. The Food and Drug Administration failed to make any comment. Despite this, many are still hopeful with the new development. The nation may in fact be developing a new view of the issue of marijuana as a medical drug that may assist many chronically ill to have a better quality of life.