AMA Calls For Ending The “Schedule I Lie”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 10, 2009

    The Schedule I federal classification of cannabis — which states that, by law, the marijuana plant and its natural compounds have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” — has long since passed the point of farcical. Nevertheless, defenders of the so-called “Schedule I lie” have possessed, for nearly 30 years, one prestigious ally that they could always rely on to endorse their absurd position: the American Medical Association.

    Not anymore!

    Today the AMA voted to reverse its longstanding endorsement of cannabis’ Schedule I prohibitive status. The vote took place during the organization’s annual Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates in Houston, Texas, and marks the first time that the AMA has revisited its position on cannabis in eight years.

    As newly amended, the AMA’s official position (see specifically pages 12, 13, and 14) regarding the medical use of cannabis no longer “recommends that marijuana be retained in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.” Rather, the Association now resolves “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.”

    The AMA also today demolished long-held pot prohibitionist claim — frequently publicized by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and others — that “no sound scientific studies have supported medical use of smoked marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data support the safety or efficacy of smoked marijuana for general medical use.” To the contrary, the AMA has adopted a report drafted by its Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) entitled, “Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes,” which states, “Results of short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.”

    Now that the AMA has finally acknowledged reality, is anyone else wondering if David Evans (or the DEA) will finally update their talking points?

    154 responses to “AMA Calls For Ending The “Schedule I Lie””

    1. KC says:

      Its about time legit medical groups stood up for science instead of saying what the policiticans want them to say.

    2. mr reuben says:

      This is great news. Now we just have to see if a rescheduling takes place.

    3. Augusta says:

      We Need Weed IN GEORGIA!!!! HELP!!!!

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    5. Delpart says:

      They seem to be using specific language that states they wish it to be reviewed for research and possible development, not removal based on established research.

      I’m sure they are influenced by research from abroad here of course. I just dont trust the legal banter they chose in this instance to call it a complete reversal in support of Schedule I.

      Though this is good news indeed if the collective of the AMA sees profit in cannabis potential. They have a track record of restricting the number of doctors admitted to medical schools each etc in hopes of maintaining scarcity to drive up profit.

      Of course the hardcore skeptic in me thinks they want to “study it” in hopes of simply creating a new bunch of synthetics as the drug industry is running dry on their R&D efforts over the last decade.

      Like everyone though, any movement from Schedule I is a welcomed blessing and I surely hope that this ripples up the food chain as a stark warning that the war is lost. The AMA was definitely one of the strongest nails in the coffin. To see it even weaken, if not fail is wonderful news.

    6. Deff Shepard says:

      THIS IS AMAZING!!!! The only thing that the political phonies have been able to fall back on is that the AMA “technically” did not say it was medically useful. Does this mean medical use will become federally regulated??

    7. Brian says:

      And the dominoes begin to fall…

      I for one am ecstatic.

    8. Dan Gibeau says:

      That is nice!

    9. LoopFiasco says:

      This can only bode well. Re-classification into a lower schedule would effectively nullify the Supreme Court precedent that says people charged with federal marijuana crimes cannot raise a medical defense because Congress declared (by putting cannabis in schedule 1) cannabis has no medical benefit. Imagine trying to defend a client and the client is barred from saying why they did whatever it is they were charged with and further, said activity was fully in compliance with State law in the jurisdiction they lived in.

      This would be huge for state’s rights advocates and the spread of medical cannabis to new states if Congress got off their corrupt fat asses and rescheduled this plant already!!!

    10. sweet smell of victory says:

      finally getting somewhere here to get this nation back on a common sense track.