Update: Here’s another one — needs some commenting: Don’t legalize marijuana in the name of medicine by John Redman, executive director of Californians for a Drug-Free Youth.
Unfortunately, legalization groups have convinced CMA and other medical societies that the process doesn’t work. They claim that research is stifled because marijuana is illegal. But the evidence says otherwise. As of 2011, 209 active researchers are registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to perform bona fide research with marijuana, marijuana extracts and THC, the active component in marijuana. There are 288 studies being conducted by the National Institutes of Health to research the constituents in marijuana, or cannabinoids.
A concrete example of this can be found in a product called Sativex, which the FDA and DEA have been involved in (it is in FDA trials). Sativex, a drug approved in Canada, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe for the treatment of multiple sclerosis spasticity and cancer pain, combines THC and another active ingredient in marijuana, CBD, to eliminate the “high” from THC.
But critics, like Paul Chabot, president of the Coalition for a Drug Free California, said the CMA recommendation would harm society.
“Research has shown marijuana use has been linked to testicular cancer, schizophrenia, and depression,” Chabot said. “It’s because of so-called medical marijuana, we now have the highest use-rate for kids in America.”
Chabot, who said his group has more than 1,000 members, called on doctors to tear up their CMA membership cards “in light of leadership’s pro drug legalization stance.”
“What an irresponsible and unethical position the CMA has taken,” Chabot said. “This flies in the face of science, public health and common sense. It now appears drug money has reached some of this organization’s more influential leaders.”
â€œA lot of people sign petitions online who just want to smoke,â€ said J.T. Griffin, senior vice president for public policy at MADD. â€œThere is a bigger policy debate that needs to be addressed before lawmakers can make a good decision.â€
For the Drug Free America Foundation, legalization is out of the question.
â€œIt is an impairing drug. People have been harmed by it. To say it is a safe drug is just another one of their big fat lies,â€ Calvina Fay, the groupâ€™s executive director, said of the pro-marijuana lobby.
From a press release from SaveOurSociety.org:
â€œI am thoroughly appalled by the CMAâ€™s decision to release this policy in an attempt to legalize a drug that we know causes so much harm to individuals and families,â€ said Eric Voth, M.D., F.A.C.P. and Chair of the Institute on Global Drug Policy. â€œThe CMA has managed to single-handedly make a mockery of modern medicine and the ethical practices of physicians. There is nothing scientific about this White Paper â€“ it is total politics.â€ […]
â€œThe CMA is dead wrong in asserting that the marijuana legalization movement is driven by the public. Instead it is driven by a group of well-financed legalization advocates. The ballot initiative to legalize pot was defeated in California and no other state has approved such an ill-advised policy, despite millions of dollars poured into this effort by ivory-tower elitists unaffected by the impact of drug use, like the rest of us. Even the issue of marijuana as medicine was rejected by two-thirds of the country,â€ stated Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs.