Nation’s Largest Medical Association Calls For Review of Marijuana’s Legal Status

Nov 10, 2009

AMA, Schedule I, Schedule II

Big news: The American Medical Association adopted a new policy position today calling for the review of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug.

The revised policy "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.” While it goes on to explain that the AMA is not stating support for state medical marijuana laws, the new policy does fall in line with what is quickly becoming a universal understanding in American medicine: Marijuana has undeniable medical uses and federal law should reflect that reality.

The new policy marks a historic shift from the AMA’s previous position, which recommended that “marijuana be retained in Schedule I,” grouping marijuana with drugs such as heroin, LSD, and PCP that are deemed to have no accepted medical uses.

The AMA’s previous position was often cited by medical marijuana opponents as evidence that the drug’s medical efficacy was in question. This new policy will go a long way to convincing politicians and policy makers that the compassionate use of medical marijuana should not be blocked by outdated marijuana laws.