The undersigned licensed physicians, PAs, and ARNPs hereby recognize that safe, currently accepted medical uses in treatment for marijuana presently exist in the United States. National medical professional consensus statements are cited.
Read a post about the letter from co-author Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, or watch his video message.
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We, the undersigned currently licensed American physicians, physician assistants, and advanced registered nurse practitioners who are granted the privilege of prescription writing by our respective states, wish to clearly state our professional acknowledgement of the fact that marijuana, scientifically known as cannabis, has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and an acceptable level of safety for medical use. Americans for Safe Access, a nationally-registered non-profit organization, will give oral arguments before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on October 16th, 2012, appealing the denial of their cannabis rescheduling petition by the Drug Enforcement Administration who based its decision on the findings of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, who chose to uphold the opposite view for cannabis to the one we unequivocally state here. We acknowledge the following statements from leading national health professional organizations and stand with them for responsible, science-based drug scheduling.
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.
American Medical Association (AMA), Council on Science and Public Health, Report: "Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes," 11/2009. AMA subsequently reversed its long-held position that marijuana be retained as a Schedule I substance with no medical value. AMA is the largest group of physicians in the United States, with 217,490 members as of December 2011. (Link to PDF)
We believe that an evidence-based review by federal regulatory authorities on the safety and efficacy of marijuana and cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes will likely provide evidence to support both appropriate reclassification and adjustment of federal drug enforcement laws, reduce conflict between federal and state law, and strengthen public confidence in the federal regulatory structure.
American College of Physicians, Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians; 2008: Position Paper. ACP is the second largest group of physicians in the United States, with 124,000 members as of 2010. (Link to PDF)
Marijuana (cannabis) has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms in a variety of conditions. Therefore, the American Nurses Association supports... reclassification of marijuana’s status from a Schedule I controlled substance into a less restrictive category.
American Nurses Association, Position Statement "In Support of Patients’ Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana", 12/12/08. ANA has approximately 180,000 members.(Link to PDF)