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.” (Read more American Medical Association stories.)