repercussions, the physicians' group urges that "the Schedule I status
of Marijuana be reviewed with the goal of facilitating clinical
research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate
position was, according to the medical Marijuana advocacy group Americans
for Safe Access (ASA), partly put into motion by a resolution adopted
in June 2008 by the Medical Student Section of the AMA in support of
the reclassification of Marijuana's Schedule I status.
last AMA position, adopted in 2001, had maintained a hard-line anti-pot stance,
calling for maintaining Marijuana as a Schedule I substance with no
"It's been 72 years since the AMA has officially recognized that
Marijuana has both already-demonstrated and future-promising medical
utility," said Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, the medical student who
spearheaded the passage of the 2008 resolution by the MSS and was also
one of the CSAPH report's expert reviewers.
shift, coming from what has historically been America's most cautious
and conservative major medical organization, is historic," said Aaron
Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy
Project. "Marijuana's Schedule I status is not just scientifically
untenable, given the wealth of recent data showing it to be both safe
and effective for chronic pain and other conditions, but it's been a
major obstacle to needed research."
drugs listed in Schedule I, which are deemed to have no accepted
medical uses and to be unsafe for use even under medical supervision,
include heroin, LSD, and PCP.
the less restrictive Schedule II, for which medical use is permitted
with strict controls, include cocaine, morphine, and methamphetamine.
Marinol, a pill containing THC, a component responsible for Marijuana's
"high," is classed in Schedule III; its looser requirements allow
by the Obama Administration discouraging federal attorneys from taking
enforcement actions against medical Marijuana patients and providers in
states where they are operating legally.
February 2008, the second largest physicians' group in the United
States, the American College of Physicians (ACP), adopted a resolution (PDF)
calling for an "evidence-based review of Marijuana's status as a
Schedule I controlled substance to determine whether it should be
reclassified to a different schedule."
two largest physician groups in the U.S. have established medical
Marijuana as a health care issue that must be addressed," said Caren
Woodson, government affairs director at ASA. "Both organizations have
underscored the need for change by placing patients above politics."