The nation's largest physicians organization, with about 250,000 member doctors, the AMA has maintained since 1997 that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive category, which also includes heroin and LSD. Since California voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 1996, marijuana has moved steadily into the cultural mainstream spurred by the growing awareness that it can have beneficial effects for some chronically ill people.
This year, the Obama administration sped up that drift when it ordered federal narcotics agents not to arrest medical marijuana users and providers who follow state laws. Polls show broadening support for marijuana legalization. The AMA, however, also adopted as part of its new policy a sentence that admonishes: "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."
Nevertheless, marijuana advocates welcomed the development. "They're clearly taking an open-minded stance and acknowledging that the evidence warrants a review. That is very big," said Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project. "It's not surprising that they are moving cautiously and one step at a time, but this is still a very significant change."
James: If the American Medical Association is now for reclassifying marijuana to allow for medicinal benefits then how can any average citizen not be for it? Unless you're against it on purely moral reasons but then don't you have to fight to make porn, stripping and gambling illegal and alcohol illegal again? Anyway, it's about time that marijuana be taken out of the same category as heroin and PCP. Schedule I is reserved for the most dangerous drugs. Marijuana, one of the most dangerous drugs??? Bullshit. To show how ridiculous this is; cocaine, crack and opium are in a lower (thus seen as less dangerous) schedule classification of drugs than marijuana!! That's absurd. Marijuana needs to be further studied to see what other health benefits the drug may hold. For example, nothing has been done in regards to how marijuana helps those with mental health difficulties such as chronic and suicidal depression. I can personally attest to it being very, very effective in that regard.
There is nothing out there right now that can be as fast acting for situational, suicidal depression than marijuana. There are a lot of tranquilizers that dissolve under the tongue for fast acting anxiety relief but not for depression. I take my anti-depressants in the morning and they have to sustain me all day and night. If I'm in a suicidally depressed state of mind and smoke some marijuana it lifts me out of that dangerous and dark place immediately. Minutes later I'm calm, happy, smiling and emotionally stable. It also eases the chronic aches and pains that radiate throughout my body due to fibromyalgia that is associated with the schizoaffective disorder. Mental pain isn't the only pain associated with mental illnesses -- it literally, physically HURTS. Especially depression, panic attacks and Anyone who is against medical marijuana at this point is dangerously uninformed, lacking in compassion or holding everyone to their personal religious choices. I don't tell you how to worship so don't tell me what medicines help me most.
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