Coming to a dispensary near you (Photo by Coaster 420, Wikimedia Commons)
By Steve Elliott in Chronic City
For years, one of the main arrows in the quiver of anti-pot zealots in arguing against medical marijuana (along with the federal pot prohibition, recently blunted by the Obama Administration) has been "But the American Medical Association says pot has no medical value." As of today, that's no longer true.
In a move considered historic by supporters of medical marijuana, the AMA voted today to reverse its long-held position that marijuana should continue to be classified under federal law as a Schedule I substance with no medical value. The organization, which is the largest physician-based group in the United States, adopted a report, "Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes," drafted by the AMA Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH), which affirms the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and calls for further research.
The CSAPH report concludes 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."
And in a move that could eventually have enormous public policy repercussions, the physicians' group 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."
Read the rest at Chronic City in the SF Weekly blog, "The Snitch": Chronic City: American Medical Association Reverses Position, Calls For Review of Medical Pot