California Medical Association Wants Weed Legalized
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/17/2011 in Medical Marijuana News
The Los Angeles Times reported this weekend that California’s largest doctor group is calling for legalization of marijuana. The Trustees of the California Medical Association (CMA), which represents over 35,000 physicians in the state, declared their support for marijuana legalization at their annual meeting in Anaheim last week. This marks the first time in history a major medical association has urged the legalization of cannabis.
“CMA may be the first organization of its kind to take this position, but we won’t be the last. This was a carefully considered, deliberative decision made exclusively on medical and scientific grounds,” said James T. Hay, M.D., CMA President-Elect. “As physicians, we need to have a better understanding about the benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis so that we can provide the best care possible to our patients.”
The CMA says there isn’t enough scientific evidence to understand the benefits and risks of medical cannabis. However the group contends that if the Obama administration removes the drug from its list of Schedule I drugs, it will pave the way for further research to determine once and for all how the plant can be harnessed to alleviate countless medical conditions. Furthermore, the CMA says that California’s medical marijuana law, Prop 215, puts physicians in a tough spot. Even though doctors are protected from prosecution for recommending marijuana, the CMA says doctors are put in an uncomfortable position in choosing to recommend a medicine to their patients that’s still illegal under federal law.
“It’s an uncomfortable position for doctors,” said Dr. Donald Lyman, a Sacramento physician who wrote the group’s new policy. “It is an open question whether cannabis is useful or not. That question can only be answered once it is legalized and more research is done. Then, and only then, can we know what it is useful for.”
With it’s recent actions against the rights of medical marijuana patients it seems unlikely that the Obama Administration will listen. But we’re hoping that with a major medical organization urging that cannabis be taxed and regulated like alcohol, our leaders in Washington listen up.