Doctors' Group Calls on Feds to End Ban on Medical Pot

The 124,000 members of the American College of Physicians, the largest organization of internal medicine physicians in the country, are calling on the feds to ease the ban on medical marijuana by reclassifying it and also to engage in more research to prove its benefits.
The American College of Physicians, the nation's largest organization of doctors of internal medicine, with 124,000 members, contends that the long and rancorous debate over marijuana legalization has obscured good science that has demonstrated the benefits and medicinal promise of cannabis.

In a 13-page position paper approved by the college's governing board of regents and posted today on the group's website, the group calls on the government to drop marijuana from Schedule I, a classification it shares with illegal drugs such as heroin and LSD that are considered to have no medicinal value and a high likelihood of abuse.

Pot is now a Schedule I controlled substance, same as heroin.

The American College of Physicians' position paper calls for protection of both doctors and patients from criminal and civil penalties in states that have adopted medical-marijuana laws.


Medical marijuana groups are thrilled with the report.

Bruce Mirken, a San Francisco spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the ACP position is "an earthquake that's going to rattle the whole medical-marijuana debate."

The group, he said, "pulverized the government's two favorite myths about medical marijuana -- that it's not supported by the medical community and that science hasn't shown marijuana to have medical value."

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  • Display: Sort:
    Thanks Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by NJDem on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 12:21:48 AM EST
    good news indeed--common sense really.

    Meh (none / 0) (#4)
    by manys on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:42:23 AM EST
    They couldn't wait a year? Talk about unrealistic...

    Has either Obama or Clinton addressed (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 01:34:25 AM EST
    this issue?  

    For Obama, it's a 10-foot pole sort of thing (none / 0) (#3)
    by reynwrap582 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 02:20:54 AM EST
    If Obama came out for it, the republicans would use that and his past drug use to paint him as a pothead.  If he came out against it, there goes much of the young vote.

    Both are pretty good on medical marijuana (none / 0) (#5)
    by Alex Kreit on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:11:17 AM EST
    Both Clinton and Obama received "A" grades from the Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana.  They have both said they would end the federal raids on state medical marijuana patients and caregivers.  Neither has (to my knowledge) addressed whether they would support actually rescheduling marijuana, however.

    In other news on the reefer front..... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:52:37 AM EST
    I was reading in the new High Times that Jack Herer is collecting signatures for a new ballot initiative that would legalize reefer for medicinal and recreational use.

    If he can get that on the ballot and it passes, maybe this epic battle between freedom lovers and prohibitionists will finally come to a head.

    Medical access is already on the Michigan ballot. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:05:37 AM EST
    Obama was for decriminalization at one point (none / 0) (#8)
    by sef on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:38:17 AM EST
    however, his campaign appears to have backed off that stand.  I would suspect both candidates would favor rescheduling cannabis, however, can we talk about it after 1/20/09?

    Why wait..... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:54:39 AM EST
    most everybody I talk to....liberals, conservatives, and all in between....nobody thinks marijuana should be illegal.  It's the national joke.

    Such a change wins votes...it won't lose 'em.  All the candidate needs is cajones, and there's the rub.


    There is a certain age group (none / 0) (#10)
    by sef on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 11:09:36 AM EST
    that decriminalization seems to upset the most, those who are older than the boomers.  Legalization also doesn't play well with regular church attenders.

    that shouldl have read (none / 0) (#11)
    by sef on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 11:11:25 AM EST
    "rescheduling" and not "decriminalization" & "legalization" which are radically different than simply rescheduling.

    I hear ya..... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 01:06:28 PM EST
    it also doesn't play well with a majority of the law enforcement community, and the prison industry.  But I'd say the majority of Americans are with me....marijuana prohibition is the national joke.

    I'm surprised about church attendees being against....love thy neighbor and compassion and all that.  Besides the fact that the christian sacrament is a drug that was once prohibited by our govt.  Have they no respect for their fellow members in the faith based community, the Rastafarians?


    Rastafarians? Heh. (none / 0) (#14)
    by jackl2400 on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 11:36:00 AM EST
    You must be kidding.  Judging from Huckabee's success with this contingent they apparently have no respect for their fellow members in the faith-based community, the Mormons.

    The Medical Marijuana Ban Is Senseless (none / 0) (#13)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 01:39:48 PM EST
    Of all the drug laws, this is one of two* that makes the least sense (which is saying something).  A patient can take opiates for medicinal reasons, but not marijuana.  Sure, a patient can take THC pills, but it isn't clear those work as well and the only reason for limiting it to this dosage is nonsense - what, the patient might enjoy smoked marijuana more?  I wasn't aware that other drugs like Vicodin removed all pleasurable side effects.  Or perhaps it's because there's a street demand for it, but that's true of lots of prescription drugs.  There is no rational basis for this rule.

    * The second is the Patriot Act restrictions on OTC drugs with regard to meth precursors.  As someone who has terrible allergies, it's incredibly frustrating to not be able to buy OTC medicines unless the pharmacy is open.  I don't really buy the "protect the children" rationale, but even if you do, there were less invasive ways of doing it. California, for example, had a law that limited the number of packages you could buy in a certain time period.  So you could get plenty of help for your cold, but not enough to cook meth in your basement.  Geesh.