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NORML Responds To National Academy of Sciences’ Marijuana Report

  • by NORML January 12, 2017

    for_painThe National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report today acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, and sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to marijuana research – in particular “the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance” under federal law.

    Authors of the report also addressed various aspects of marijuana’s effect on health and safety, acknowledging that the substance may pose certain potential risks for adolescents, pregnant women, and for those who may be driving shortly after ingesting cannabis. In each of these cases, these risks may be mitigated via marijuana regulation and the imposition of age restrictions in the marketplace.

    Commenting on the report, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said:

    “The National Academy of Science’s conclusions that marijuana possesses established therapeutic utility for certain patients and that it possesses an acceptable safety profile when compared to those of other medications or recreational intoxicants are not surprising. This evidence has been available for some time, yet for decades marijuana policy in this country has largely been driven by rhetoric and emotion, not science and evidence.

    “A search on PubMed, the repository for all peer-reviewed scientific papers, using the term ‘marijuana’ yields over 24,000 scientific papers referencing the plant or its biologically active constituents — a far greater body of literature than exists for commonly consumed conventional drugs like Tylenol, ibuprofen, or hydrocodone. Further, unlike modern pharmaceuticals, cannabis possesses an extensive history of human use dating back thousands of years, thus providing society with ample empirical evidence as to its relative safety and efficacy.

    “Today, 29 states and Washington, DC permit physicians to recommend marijuana therapy. Some of these state-sanctioned programs have now been in place for nearly two decades. Eight states also permit the regulated use and sale of cannabis by adults. At a minimum, we know enough about cannabis, as well as the failures of cannabis prohibition, to regulate its consumption by adults, end its longstanding criminalization, and to remove it from its Schedule I prohibitive under federal law.”

    The report marks the first time since 1999 that the National Academy of Sciences has addressed issues surrounding marijuana and health. Authors reviewed over 10,000 scientific abstracts in their preparation of the new report.

    You can read the full report here.

    28 responses to “NORML Responds To National Academy of Sciences’ Marijuana Report”

    1. Galileo Galilei says:

      “The National Academy of Science’s conclusions that marijuana possesses established therapeutic utility for certain patients and that it possesses an acceptable safety profile when compared to those of other medications or recreational intoxicants are not surprising. This evidence has been available for some time, yet for decades marijuana policy in this country has largely been driven by rhetoric and emotion, not science and evidence.”

      To thwart the advance of medical science is a crime against us all.

    2. Luke Matekaitis says:

      Paul,

      As others responded above here /\ , we all KNOW the prohibition of cannabis is not at all to do with emotion or rhetoric but instead 100% to do with greed and money. Hemp and pharmaceutical companies are the largest money makers in the prohibition of cannabis but there are others.

      With all due respect, Mr. Armentano, you should not only know this but also not be at all afraid to write this. People obviously deserve to realize why the laws are the way they are.

    3. Julian says:

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Deputy Director of NORML Paul Armentano, Americans are in a deep debt of gratitude for your persistent service and dedication to peer reviewed, longitudinal science. Your pros are poetic. And our Congress and the American people are listening.
      So are their staff members, so PICK UP THE PHONE and write this into your contacts:

      202-224-3121

      That’s the Senate switchboard. Share it. Call it. Use it. Often.

    4. phrtao says:

      This report greatly dispels worries about potential harm as well as re-affirminhg the medical efficacy of cannabis.
      We need to stress that it should be available to all adults to use how ever they please. This would stop the need for doctor’s approval and allow people to self-medicate. Self-medicating is actually allowed for other substances that can even be potentially life threatening (such as aspirin and paracetamol) but cannabis does not have this potential for ham. Being freely available would not stop it being used in prescription medicines either.

    5. Anonymous says:

      nicotine – a ‘highly addictive supertoxin’
      [same category as heroin, strychnine etc]
      is protected from normal poisons schedules
      incl my society australia, due to corruption
      of process.. deliberate corruption..
      here politicians have given nicotine a
      ‘special exemption’ from normal scheduling
      requirements.. – not from scheduling –
      you need a pest exterminator license to buy
      nicotine, except in tobacco for smoking…

      tobacco industry buys politicians with
      massive contributions to politican partys..
      this includes corruption of scheduling..

      usa have a system whereby citizens may,
      influence scheduling via congress etc,
      which should be highest priority imo..

      congratulations from an ex-epileptic
      who used cbd’s in natural cannabis
      as a main element of his cure from
      temporal lobe grand mal epilepsy..

      seize the moment free people..
      it is your poisons scheduling
      they have corupted…

    6. carl says:

      nicotine – a ‘highly addictive supertoxin’
      [same category as heroin, strychnine etc]
      is protected from normal poisons schedules
      incl my society australia, due to corruption
      of process.. deliberate corruption..
      here politicians have given nicotine a
      ‘special exemption’ from normal scheduling
      requirements.. – not from scheduling –
      you need a pest exterminator license to buy
      nicotine, except in tobacco for smoking…

      tobacco industry buys politicians with
      massive contributions to politican partys..
      this includes corruption of scheduling..

      usa have a system whereby citizens may,
      influence scheduling via congress etc,
      which should be highest priority imo..

      congratulations from an ex-epileptic
      who used cbd’s in natural cannabis
      as a main element of his cure from
      temporal lobe grand mal epilepsy..

      seize the moment free people..
      it is your poisons scheduling
      they have corupted…

    7. John says:

      Big Pharma is in the pockets of the Virginia law makers and nothing will change even if over seventy percent of of Virginians desire medical marijuana.

      You will see this if you attend the Virginia legislature. The only bill that might pass will be the one where first time pot possessors might be able to keep their drivers license instead of having it taken away for six months.

      These “fat cats” hold office with their campaigns funded by individual donors who get their money from shielded sources that ultimately lead back to the drug companies. This is why you get these nice four color postcards and placards in your mailbox weeks before an election and you see loads of expensive commercials on T.V. abd signs just about everywhere and full time employees call and leave long messages on your telephone telling you to vote for these “fat cats” who don’t care if you can’t breathe because of C.O.P.D., emphysema and asthma or if you have trouble with osteoarthritis or anxiety and a myriad of maladies that can be effectively treated or even cured by cannabis.

      You need to attend the conference here in Virginia and try to say something to these legislators and the police will take you away and lock you up for disobedience! They will not hear from the people! I will be there because I have not used marijuana for over a year and a half and I am more than angry. They cannot lock me up for thirty days for a first time pot possession for having up to a half ounce and they cannot make me pay a $500 mandatory fine either!

      It makes me ill and I am tired of all this when I know that pot is the very best medicine and Big Pharma cannot make any money on something that a patient can grow in a home or in the back yard.

      • Julian says:

        I told my state representative here in Texas “The pharmaceutical industry will always find a way to make money and keep donating to you. It’s up to us to change the laws, legalize, and set the rules by which they profit. Stop throwing sick people in jail.”
        I also may have quoted Mathew 25:47 or whatever works for your Rep, but don’t give up. My Rep is now the first State Republican to support decriminalization in the state of Texas. Find out when the Virginia legislative session starts. Join your local NORML chapter. Citizen lobby. It really works!

    8. Wayne S. says:

      This is our time.Without major blunders we hopefully will systematically continue the expansion and legalization into more states.Over 40 mph years ago Asserted that I would pull up roots and relocate to the first state that legalized marijuana. Man,it’s gonna be cold as hell in Colorado.

    9. Juniata says:

      Incredible reports! As legality becomes less of an issue for cannabis research I’d like to see higher quality data points. As a person who doesn’t smoke tobacco, drinks moderately, eats purely, and exercises often, I’d like to finally test for significant differences in volunteers who live a healthy lifestyle and have a meaningful life versus ones who don’t. Obstructions in research has produced low quality data. Removing cannabis from Schedule I status would open the door for thorough screening of people who use marijuana and allow us to be more selective.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Science rightly requires more than anecdotal testimonials in order to understand the health benefits of cannabis; but for medical patients, the personal experience of regaining heath and system functionality is all the evidence they need!

        Yet we do have ample and sufficient scientific evidence to state with confidence that marijuana poses health risks that are negligible with respect to the corresponding health benefits.

    10. Juniata says:

      Incredible reports! As legality becomes less of an issue for cannabis research I’d like to see higher quality data points. As a person who doesn’t smoke tobacco, drinks moderately, eats purely, and exercises often, I’d like to finally test for significant differences in volunteers who live a healthy lifestyle and have a meaningful life versus ones who don’t. Obstructions in research has produced low quality data. Removing cannabis from Schedule I status would open the door for thorough screening of the people who use marijuana and allow us to be more selective.

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