At its 2009 interim meeting, the American Medical Association has adopted a statement urging that marijuana be considered as medicine and that further research be conducted into its medical value. The statement was recommended by the AMA's Council on Science and Public Health, based on a report which endorses the medicinal value of marijuana, but bemoans the combination of federal prohibition and a "patchwork of state-based systems" that have impeded scientific research. While stopping far short of a call for full legalization, the statement represents a major break with the past and undermines federal insistence that marijuana has no value.
Our American Medical Association (AMA) urges that marijuana's status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product.
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