The AMA is now urging the federal government to reclassify marijuana so that more health studies can be conducted on marijuana’s full range of medicinal properties and possible risks. In California, one of thirteen states who have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, the state’s own medical association passed a resolution stating that the criminalization of marijuana has been a failed health policy and urges lawmakers to reconsider its position relative to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.
A recent survey reports that over 100 million Americans have used marijuana at least once in their life and over 25 million report they have used marijuana in the past year. In the past five years a growing number of physicians and medical specialists have been recommending marijuana use to patients for the treatment of the following types of illnesses: chronic pain, arthritis, AIDS, anorexia, migraines, glaucoma, seizures, nausea and certain types of cancer.
The medical benefit of marijuana is not a new phenomenon. To the contrary, prior to 1937, there were approximately 27 different types of prescribed medicines that contained THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Established pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly and Squibb developed many of these THC based medicines with relatively high degrees of success. However, the federal government by enacting the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 caused the blanket prohibition of marijuana to be used as a lawful medication. It has been illegal ever since.
While there is growing body of health studies that show the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana, there are many physicians who argue that medical marijuana can be abused just like any other drug, legal or illegal. The possible side effects of heavy and prolonged use can include respiratory disease, as is the case with any heavy intake of smoke into the lungs. Other possible side effects may include some loss of short-term memory, disorientation, and drowsiness.
Whether you agree with the legalization of medical marijuana or not, one thing is clear. The AMA’s new position on medical marijuana is likely to open the door for the federal government to reconsider its position and reclassify marijuana to be more in line with current medical research.
For more on medical marijuana laws, medical marijuana dispensaries and clinics, medical marijuana identification cards, referring physicians and current news on the ever growing medical marijuana debate, go to GotTrouble.com