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. Reader says:

      29 states is inaccurate. It should be 28.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Twenty-nine. Please see our summaries here: http://norml.org/legal/medical-marijuana-2.%5D

      • States Have Rights, too ! says:

        Enough with all of this truth and science talk, you’re only making general populous nervous !

    2. Ron Smith says:

      Regarding the prohibition of marijuana, I believe Senator Jeff Sessions gave us the answer during his confirmation hearing, yesterday! When asked if he would act against marijuana users, he replied that it is not the job of the Attorney General to decide what laws to enforce! It is the job of the Attorney General to enforce all of the laws of the land! He stated that it is the job of Congress to pass the laws they want enforced!
      So, the answer is clear . . . The law of prohibition against marijuana needs to be repealed!
      What I am asking from you, is to to introduce legislation to repeal this crime against humanity!
      It is clear that we cannot depend on the DEA to do the right thing! So, it seems that we need Congress to do it!
      More than half of the States in America, including the Great State of Nevada, have passed laws to enable their constituents to access marijuana! It seems that this might not be such a remote thought to believe the law can be changed!
      This is the only way to get it done! This is the way prohibition against alcohol was accomplished! It cannot happen without you!

      [Paul Armentano responds: “It is clear that we cannot depend on the DEA to do the right thing! So, it seems that we need Congress to do it!” I articulate similar sentiments in my recent op-ed in The Hill here: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/313768-sessions-leaves-door-open-for-marijuana-crackdown%5D

      • Mark I. says:

        The national news put a MD on their coverage that knew what the endocannabnoid system was and helped people understand that this is real an not contrived.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do people keep thinking Sessions is asking Congress to legalize marijuana.. He’s not. Drug War III begins on day one.

      • Robert Stack says:

        Exclamation points are essentially shouting and have no place in a rational empiric discussion.

    3. Gene says:

      Tell that to governor Christie who is still so far in the dark, this is one guy who watched reefer madness way to many times. Calling marijuana poison and a gateway drug. This man is not only clueless but unwilling to learn. Can’t wait to get rid of this guy.

    4. Seth Tyrssen says:

      Well, the study is a bit cautious, but a step in the right direction. A study done at MIT (if memory serves; don’t hold me to that) found that drivers under the influence of cannabis, were actually less likely to be in a car accident than drivers under the influence of NOTHING. I have, at the moment, about half a dozen pages referring to studies done by Dr. Manuel Guzman of the University of Madrid in Spain, which consistently come up positive on cannabis.

    5. TheOracle says:

      Thank you very much!

      Suppose the federal prohibitionists don’t budge and keep acting like the facts are irrelevant because they already have their minds made up. It didn’t stop four more states legalizing adult recreational, you know, doubling from four to eight, and then there’s D.C.


    6. Miles says:

      I’ve said it before but I’d like to say it again: “The only reason that cannabis has been prohibited is because of racism, prejudice, greed, ignorance, and hate-filled hearts”.

      If our countries leaders truly cared about what is best for the people of our country, and if they cared what the people of our country want (our will) then cannabis would be made legal immediately.

      There is zero evidence that locking someone up for breaking a cannabis related law does anyone any good; excluding those who profit from others pain.

      After using cannabis for the past 45 years I can say, with 100% confidence, that I am better of both mentally and physically because of it! Of course, this is not what our prohibitionist leaders care to even consider or discuss.

    7. Walker says:

      The reason that marijuana is not sanctioned for medicinal use on a federal level is because the drug companies cannot make money on something that a patient can grow inside a home or in the back yard.

      • mexweed says:

        @Walker, I’d like to set a slightly more complexs theory next to yours. The drug companies make money not by preventing illness (diet, exercise etc.) but from “treating” “successfully nonprevented” illness. If H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide P-uffpaper $igarette $moking Ad-diction were prevented or eliminated, almost all of the Surgeon General 2014 estimated $135-Bil. spent yearly on “medical care” for “$moking-related illness” would be “lost” to that “industry”.
        Cannabis legalization will decisively deflate that racket three different ways:
        (A) substitution of cannabis, basil, marjoram, oregano, pennyroyal, peppermint, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme etc. etc. for tobacco
        (B) substitution of newly legalized 25-mg-serving-size flexdrawtube oneheaters, now widely banned as “paraphernalia” because of their presumed association with banned cannabis, for 700-mg monoxide overdose $igarette format, when using cannabis, the other herbs and even also tobackgo
        (C) eventual substitution of vaporizing (including Easy-Learn, Heat-not-Burn VapeToke Technique with oneheaters) for $moking as most preferred inhalation method worldwide.

    8. smilingone says:

      What a surprise….not….the question is will the feds believe these facts anymore than they did the last 10,000 studies and 4,000 years of use… in any case, it is clear that the U.S. policy on cannabis is much more harmful to our society and its families than the drug ever was

    9. Jack Herer says:

      The only dead bodies from marijuana are in the prisons and at the hands of the police.

      This is ridiculous.

    10. Mark I. says:

      The prisons for profit are going to declare war.