This is huge news.
According to Americans for Safe Access:
HOUSTON — The American Medical Association (AMA) voted today to reverse its long-held position that marijuana be retained as a Schedule I substance with no medical value. The AMA adopted a report drafted by the AMA Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) entitled, “Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes,” which affirmed the therapeutic benefits of marijuana and called for further research. The CSAPH report concluded that, “short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.” Furthermore, the report 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 delivery methods.”
The drug warriors have long used the fact that the AMA hasn’t supported reclassifying marijuana as a major proof of their position (despite the fact that many other medical organizations have supported it.
The unreleased draft of their statement is not an outright endorsement of medical marijuana, but it’s a huge step.
Our AMA urges that marijuanaÂ’’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.
Update: The Los Angeles Times has an excellent article on this [Thanks, DavesNot] today: Medical marijuana gets a boost from major doctors group
As commenters have noted, the government response is almost pathetic
Reaction from the federal government was muted.
Dawn Dearden with the Drug Enforcement Administration said: “At this point, it’s still a Schedule I drug, and we’re going to treat it as such.” The Food and Drug Administration declined to comment.
In a statement, the office of the White House drug czar reiterated the administration’s opposition to legalization and said that it would defer to “the FDA’s judgment that the raw marijuana plant cannot meet the standards for identity, strength, quality, purity, packaging and labeling required of medicine.”
It’s still going to take a major act (by Congress or the Administration) to remove marijuana from Schedule 1, but the wall built up by the government over decades to protect their unconscionable stance keeps getting chipped away bit by bit. I believe that they know it’s no longer a question of “whether” but only of “when.”