The American Medical Association voted last Tuesday to keep their official position on marijuana. “Cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.”
A delegation from California had proposed an amendment to AMA policy to reflect a “neutral stance toward cannabis legalization.” The proposal was defeated, as well as a second one calling for the advocacy of the “sale of cannabis to be regulated on a [California] state-based level.
But the AMA House of Delegates simply reaffirmed its position that marijuana was a dangerous drug. “We [California Medical Association] would at least like to see it changed to a Schedule 2 drug so we could study the drug and approach the topic scientifically,” said Richard Thorp, MD, chair for the California Delegation. The AMA didn’t agree.
The only win of the day was that they did voice that current federal anti-marijuana policies are “ineffective.” Even the war on drugs has been ineffective, with priorities on disrupting and confiscating supply.
The AMA has been urging since 1977 for the reduction of penalties for possession of marijuana, but now they’re calling for states and the federal government to modify laws, focusing on “public health based strategies, rather than incarceration.”
They agreed to adopt several provisions into the marijuana policy, including that they “Support the determination of the consequences of long-term cannabis use through concentrated research, especially among youth and adolescents,” and “Support the modification of state and federal laws to emphasize public health-based strategies to address and reduce cannabis use.”