AMA Mellows on Medical Marijuana

Doctors group nudges Feds toward reclassification, research
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2009 9:12 AM CST
A tray of marijuana clones, for sale, sit underneath grow lights in the Peace in Medicine dispensary in Sebastopol, Calif.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The American Medical Association has finally softened on marijuana, urging the government to give it a new classification that would open the door to serious research on its medical merits. Now a Schedule I drug, with no accepted medical uses, under the AMA proposal it would become a Schedule II narcotic, like morphine—still addictive, but with medical applications. “They're clearly taking an open-minded stance and acknowledging that the evidence warrants a review,” a medical marijuana advocate tells the Los Angeles Times.

Still, the AMA was not exactly effusive in its praise of pot. “This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs,” the new policy reads, “or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product.” On the bright side for tokers, the association rejected language that would have called smoking an “inherently unsafe delivery method for any therapeutic agent.”