The White House Lies About AMA Position

We told readers a few weeks ago that MPP would update them on how the government was responding to the American Medical Association’s new policy on marijuana. To refresh everyone’s memory, the AMA’s new policy is:

Our AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods. 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. (source)

So they don’t go as far as we do, but they are calling for a review of marijuana’s Schedule I status (Schedule I drugs being defined as having no medical value). Now, lets look at how the drug czar is characterizing it. To quote the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s latest anti-medical marijuana literature:

The American Medical Association: “To help facilitate scientific research and the development of cannabionoid-based medicines, the AMA adopted (a) new policy … 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.” (source)

Notice the ellipses? Here is what the press release they’re quoting from actually says in full:

“To help facilitate scientific research and the development of cannabionoid-based medicines, the AMA adopted new policy urging the federal government to review marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance. Despite more than 30 years of clinical research, only a small number of randomized, controlled trials have been conducted on smoked cannabis. (source)

What you’re seeing here is a blatant misrepresentation of the American Medical Association’s policy on marijuana. The ONDCP should be held accountable, and you can help do that by sending them an e-mail here.

66 thoughts on “The White House Lies About AMA Position”

  1. I replied to the e-mail but I doubt I’ll get a response:

    My question was not answered. Here, please read it again and tell me why the ONDCP chose to quote the AMA’s new policy but failed to actually state the new policy:

    ““You quoted the AMA’s new policy on medical marijuana in your “medical marijuana factsheet.” But you failed to actually state the new policy (which is to urge “the federal government to review marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance”). Why is that? I voted for Obama because I actually expected change. This is not change. This is Bush-style dishonesty.”

  2. Canna Politix:

    You can jump all over me if you want, but I know tha tthe AZ initiative is BETTER than what patients in AZ have right now… Right now THEY HAVE NO ACCESS at all. The only access is to get it from drug dealers or to grow it themselves…. both of which are illegal. The AZ initiative at lease allows them to buy from a legal place.

    Do you guys not think about Rhode Island? They passed their original bill and when there was a continued concern about access they just legislated dispensaries. I know this is a totally different bill and different regulations, but it just shows a circumstance in which continued pressure helped to change the law for the better AFTER the initial law was enacted.

    Look… I’m not trying to spin any of this. We’re talking about a RED state. We both know that Republicans are what’s stopping a rational and fair bill from being enacted (not MPP or NORML). Look at all of the MMJ states… all BLUE. So yes, they had to compromise to get a vote… Should they have had to? No… we’re talking about something that can’t kill you so what should it matter, but unfortunately the Right still believes the lies that have been told. They have run year after year on being tough on crime and to change coarse is politically difficult for them. If they had stayed true to their ideals and continued to press for smaller government intervention and personal freedoms and individual responsibilities this would be an easy issue to pass and pass the right way. Unfortunately the only Republican that seems to holds this view is Ron Paul.

  3. LOL I knew you would jump on that “ruing” Typo if I left it there. Small minds lol. Just wait till all this Obama spending catches up, just wait til all these Obama taxes catch up. You dont believe hyperinflation is coming? LOL Keep close eye on your pay check.

  4. Since the email link on the ONDCP site seems not to be working (pretty convenient that we can’t comment to them about their erroneous information) we might want to try to call them instead.

    202-395-6618

    Of coarse when I called this afternoon all I got was an answering machine so we’ll have to see if they actually call people back. I would suggest blowing up their phone lines until they get the message.

    Remember to also point out their inconsistancies: see #16 above for reference… how can you say that there are better alternatives but still say there are NO uses for treatment?… The CSA doesn’t say that it has to be the BEST treatment… it just has to be A treatment and a lot of the statements they rely on contradict their conclusion that there is NO use in treatment.

  5. I wrote to them with my opinions and demands. Below is the message I sent them.

    I am an American citizen, tax payer, and registered voter. In a nutshell, that means in essence YOU work for ME, right along with EVERY OTHER TAX PAYER AND REGISTERED VOTER IN THE ENTIRE NATION. It is NOT your job to make decisions concrning things like drug policy when a clear majority of the people you work for are telling you to change this unconstitutional law. You took the AMA’s newly publicized stance and twisted their words…the AMA themselves are telling you it NEEDS to be rescheduled, not that it would be okay to do so, as you want us to believe. As a tax payer and registered voter, I and millions of others WHO GIVE YOU YOUR PAYCHECK, DEMAND YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMA’S DESIRES AND RESCHEDULE THE CANNABIS PLANT SO THAT YOUR BOSSES CAN HAVE BOTH THE TRUTH AND MEDICINE THEY SO RIGHTFULLY NEED AND WANT. We will not let up oin this issue. Until cannabis is given the recognition our Constitution demands it have, and you take the money away from these murderous cartels, WE WILL NOT STOP WRITING – WE WILL NOT STOP LOBBYING – WE WILL NOT BE DETERRED. This plant is harmless to all who choose to consume it, it is highly beneficial to millions of people with countless ailments, and it is used and wanted by most of your bosses. The law against it is immoral, it is unconstitutional, and it is based on racism and lies. Again, we are not asking – we are TELLING you – end this unamerican law, and quit ruling over peoples’ personal lives like a fascist nazi.

  6. The only difference between Bush and Obama, Bush had balls and Obama doesn’t. Every day Obama looks more like a wimp who will accomplish very little. He is letting massive power pass him by. Maybe next year he will stand up and be a man. He needs to take lessons from Tiger Woods. LOL

  7. hmmm, do i consider myself a cheerleader for MPP???

    in a word…. YES!
    -whenever i view an up-to-date interview about marijuana, i see MPP speaking up for the rest of us.

    just because some of us believe that in order to get cannabis/HEMP legal for ALL adults, not just the ill, there will be compromises on both sides of the issue, and there will be more than a couple steps from medical approval to full-out freedom for the weed.

    as for arizona… i can hardly believe that Arizona would have ANY kind of medical marijuana law. when i think of arizona and drug laws, i think of that sheriff that has labor camps for drug “criminals”.

    so… even though i am not very well versed on arizona’s marijuana climate, i CAN imagine that ANY conversation with that state’s prohibitionists would include compromising.

    sure, i would prefer that the entire nation be allowed to grow their own cannabis, but i also understand that i might have to take baby steps to get there.

    the “all or nothng” approach to negotiating with prohibitionists will fail. most politicians have made marijuana out to be the devil to get elected, and to do a complete 180 on the issues would subject them to being outed as a hypocrite.

    but… if they can use MEDICAL compassion as a tool to come around to science, without being ridculed for their recreational cannabis views, they can look both tough on crime, and compassionate.

    i believe that medical cannabis efforts are a foot in the door for complete legalization, and MPP has a big foot.

    as for President Obama…
    – perhaps he is holding out on the issue until late 2010. by then he will know if he wants to run again, and i am sure he understands that if he does NOT make a bolder move than signing the omnibus bill, he will lose MILLIONS of votes.

    so i figure that after Oregon and California PASS their legalize and regulate policies next year, President Obama will be forced into being clear about his true view on marijuana and HEMP.

    and even IF no state has passed full-on legalization, this question will be put to ALL candidates…

    “where do YOU stand regarding legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult recreational consumption??”

  8. Your Drug Czar blatantly misrepresented the AMA’s official position on marijuana. Do you actually think for one second that blatant lying is going to help your pathetic cause? I guess that’s all there is left for you to do when 53% of Americans wants Marijuana taxed, Regulated and kept from children rather than just surrendering it to the cartels to finance thousands of murders annually!

    There’s a reason why they call the ABC store the Alcoholic Beverage Control. It’s because they actually gain some CONTROL when they regulated, taxed, and controled the drug.

    The point of history is to learn lessons, not repeat mistakes. Wise up and stop DESTROYING FREEDOM!

  9. Re: post #4:
    The Obama administration moved the ONDCP position of drug czar into a cabinet level position and under the full control of the Presient. Yep. This makes this slight of hand the full responsibility of Obama. He is feeding more lies, and gives people “hope” that things will change. Don’t get addicted to hope people. It is the most destructive drug known to government and mankind and will leave you empty handed and looking for government handouts.

  10. Ok, you all are spewing about compromises, but that does nothing to explain why the MPP is making such a fuss over the AZ medical cannabis bill. They have gone so far as to say that it is the best medical cannabis initiative in the entire United States of America. Why would they do this? Why would they go so far as to say that it’s the best initiative, when there are clearly ones that even you people seem to think are better? Clearly, the medical cannabis law in Oregon, with added dispensary support & an expanded list of qualifying conditions, is better than the Arizona initiative; yet why does MPP say that the AZ medical cannabis Act would be better than even Oregon’s?

    See. This is what you are completely missing. Maybe they would have to make compromises to get this bill into law, but that doesn’t mean that it would be the best. In fact, that would likely make it the WORST medical cannabis Act that was signed into law. However! Get the MPP to say anything besides it’s the “best one”, and well… That won’t happen. They are pushing it as the “best” initiative FOR A REASON!

    See? This is the important fact that you are missing.

    Here is a post by MPP entitled “Stricter Regs Needed for Medical Pot”. This should be a nice quote: “It has the best of all worlds,” said Andrew Myers, a consultant who works for the campaign. “It has the best regulation and it has the best for patient access. It has nonprofit dispensaries so it should be the best for price controls. I think we are going to see a very effective, well-run program in Arizona.” (http://www.mpp.org/states/arizona/news/stricter-regs-needed-for.html)

    Obviously it’s going to be the best. Duh. lol – In the same writing, Bruce Mirken talks about it being the endpoint of the medical marijuana laws, and their evolution. “It’s the endpoint of a long evolution and I think it’s the culmination of about a decade and a half of medical marijuana laws,” said Bruce Mirken, a communications director for the Washington, D.C.- based Marijuana Policy Project, the prime sponsor of the Arizona effort.

    Look closely. They seriously think that the Arizona medical cannabis system is the best one; and will likely push for it to become the national model one day. Which would eliminate our ability to grow cannabis under a legalized system. The rigid punishments for growing your own cannabis will likely stay the same as now, or get worse. Thus helping to control how people obtain the cannabis, and forcing them to buy it all; since they can no longer grow. This also eliminates any leverage we have to demand a quality product, outside of a set monetary system.

    Anyway, there is no way that the Arizona medical cannabis initiative is the “best”, especially not out of all of them we currently have established. Not that those are the best either, and could use improvement on many fronts. I just don’t believe that this dispensary “halo” is the best way to do it. 25 miles is way too damn far, giving them a huge ability to control people. Especially in cities, where many people live so close together.

    Anyway, that is that.

  11. I read some of the earlier comments bashing MPP and I disagree with them. Thank god for MPP and NORML. We will take victories any way we can. Keep up the good work!!!

  12. “We will take victories any way we can. Keep up the good work!!!” -ray

    Sometimes I think like this as well, but I wonder where we will end up if we think / act like this?

  13. I received another weak response the second go around:

    “Thank you for contacting ONDCP.

    Thank you for contacting ONDCP with your comments concerning the
    American Medical Association’s and ONDCP’s statements concerning
    medical marijuana. We have provided your concerns to ONDCP staff.

    Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Thank you,

    Yvonne
    Content Specialist
    ONDCP Clearinghouse”

    I think I’ll keep bugging them. >:-)

  14. Dear C.W.,

    Thank you for contacting ONDCP.

    Thank you for contacting ONDCP with your comments concerning the
    American Medical Association’s and ONDCP’s statements concerning
    medical marijuana. We have provided your concerns to ONDCP staff.

    Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Thank you,

    Yvonne
    Content Specialist
    ONDCP Clearinghouse

  15. In response to James Crosby #62 Yes, you are correct. I find out about what MPP is doing months before they announce it. I’ve know about the Arizona initiative for quite some time now.

    I have confronted MPP on this legislation. Did you know that it is completely authored by MPP?

    I know that MPP wants to corner the market and gain a monopoly control on patients. I am sure MPP will push for the Arizona model elsewhere.

    It is not fair to deny a patient the right to grow their own if they are 25 miles or closer to a dispensary.

    Since when is it ok to force a service on someone? How can MPP say this will ensure patients pay decent prices when we all know that medical marijuana actually costs MORE than the same street level equivalent chronic.

    Why would I register to be a patient and grow and then find that the limits of the law prevent me from growing the amount of medicine I need.

    I know why Jack Herer is against MPP.

    MPP and others say they are non profit but no one doesn’t anything for free.

    I’d bee interested to know how high a salary MPP directors and associates are receiving?

    Why are two billionaires funding drug policy reform?

    Just out of the goodness of the their hearts?

    I don’t believe it. I am for Marijuana policy reform, but at times MPP makes me wonder what exactly it is they intend with the passing of these laws.

    It’s so easy to hide behind “defending the sick and suffering.”

    I’m tired of MPP denying these allegations.

    I tired to the lobbyists who are supposed to be supporting progressive drug policy reform accepting baby steps when we need to take giant “leaps for mankind.”

    MPP will not fess up.

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