On November 10th, the American Medical Association (AMA) called for a federal review of marijuana's status as a "Schedule 1" narcotic by the Federal Government. Should the Government actually look into the recommendation, it would be the first time it has done so since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act 39 years ago.
By maintaining marijuana as a Schedule 1 narco, the Federal government lumped in marijuana in the same group as heroin and LSD; dangerous and holding no medicinal value (thus making it technically illegal for doctors to prescribe marijuana).
But a new report from the AMA has for the first time come out in favor of changing the status of marijuana:
"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. However, the patchwork of state-based systems that have been established for medical marijuana is woefully inadequate in establishing even rudimentary safeguards ... The future of cannabinoid-based medicine lies in the rapidly evolving field of botanical drug substance development, as well as the design of molecules that target various aspects of the endocannabinoid system. To the extent that rescheduling marijuana out of Schedule I will benefit this effort, such a move can be supported."
Viewed as a first step in the legalization process, rescheduling marijuana has been one of the main priorities of marijuana activists for decades now. Rescheduling the drug would allow for nongovernmental scientists to do research using the drug (thus being able to find chinks in the armor of demonization the Government uses against marijuana and its users). But it is not the end.
Naturally, this statement alone is not going to bring decades of demonization and persecution of marijuana and its users to an end. But what it does do is publicly illustrate the changing social attitude towards the drug. No longer is marijuana the drug of the jazz musician or the ender of the virtue of white girls from sea to shining sea.
It has uses, both medicinally and recreationally.
Sure the Government has been saying for years that it is a gateway drug not suitable for anything more than throwing one's life away on. But they also said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that the Roswell crash was nothing more than a weather balloon experiment gone horribly wrong.
What I am saying is that the Government is not infallible. Not on matters of national security and not in its drug policy.
The science is just not there to support the insane prohibition of marijuana by the Federal Government...
And the AMA's statement is a sign of that.