One of the frequent arguments we still hear about marijuana as a health-restoring tool is that the medical and scientific community does not believe the plant actually helps heal patients.
In the face of 30-states legalizing pot for medicinal – and some for recreational use — this argument simply doesn’t hold weight anymore. This article will look at the healthcare organizations that have endorsed medical marijuana and some of the findings that led them to support legalization of this drug.
Who Supports Pot Consumption?
The use of pot in a clinical setting is fairly widespread now. For example:
- According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the majority of oncologists (80%) recommend marijuana to their patients.
- Studies show opioid addiction can be reduced with medical marijuana.
- The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a study this year showing medical marijuana can help older adults cope with pain.
- The Mayo Clinic allows the use of medical marijuana.
While these are just the latest in an ongoing clinical focus on the health benefits of the marijuana plant, all kinds of organizations supporting immediate and widespread legalization of marijuana for health purpose.
Colorado NORML has published a good list of health-related organizations. While the list is not meant to be comprehensive, it has a variety of organizations around the world that have voted to endorse legalization:
- AIDS Action Council
- AIDS Treatment News
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Medical Student Association
- American Nurses Association
- American Preventive Medical Association
- American Public Health Association
- American Society of Addiction Medicine
- Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
- Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
- Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
- Belgian Ministry of Health
- British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
- British Medical Association
- Canadian AIDS Society
- Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
- Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
- French Ministry of Health
- Health Canada
- Kaiser Permanente
- Lymphoma Foundation of America
- The Montel Williams MS Foundation
- Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
- The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
- National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
- National Association for Public Health Policy
- National Nurses Society on Addictions
- Netherlands Ministry of Health
- New England Journal of Medicine
- Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council)
The Washington Post published an article two years ago on a movement within the U.S. physician community to legalize marijuana. They formed an organization called the Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and the group advocates the following three tenets:
- The effort to criminalize marijuana has failed.
- Marijuana overuse is a health issue, not a criminal issue.
- The only rational approach is to regulate and tax it, then direct those revenues to evidence-based treatment centers for drug and alcohol.
Public support for medical marijuana is at an all-time high of 90%. In response to these overwhelming trends leaning toward support for legalization, the Federation of State Medical Boards issued their guidelines for prescribing marijuana in a clinical setting.
A May 2018 Forbes article suggests that:
A number of states are expected to vote on far-reaching marijuana ballot
measures this year, and recent polling shows that all of them are poised
to pass by substantial margins.
States moving to legalize marijuana are expect in Michigan, Utah, and Missouri – to name a few, and Oklahoma, a traditionally red state, just voted to legalize medical marijuana. Go here to see the patchwork state-by-state set of laws for recreational and medicinal marijuana.
The future of marijuana lies in regulation, according to many political insiders. The tax revenues generated alone are spurring legislators to reverse their positions on pot. One big stumbling block still remains at the federal level, where marijuana is still listed as a controlled substance. But with the opioid epidemic skyrocketing, marijuana offers medical professionals a way to offer treatment to help patients fight pain with a substance that is both typically non-addictive and highly-effective. However, while the use of medical marijuana has been shown to have positive clinical outcomes, it is always important for patients to make informed choices about the medications they receive.