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AMA Calls for Feds to Review Marijuana Restriction
Posted by CN Staff on November 11, 2009 at 08:20:52 PT
By Stephanie Condon
Source: CBS News 
CBS -- The American Medical Association on Tuesday adopted a resolution calling for the government to review its classification of marijuana, in order to ease the way for more research into the use of medical marijuana.While the AMA, the largest physician's organization in the U.S., explicitly states it does not endorse any current state-based medical marijuana programs or the legalization of marijuana, the move is a significant shift that continues a trend toward support for easing restrictions against the drug.
"Our American Medical Association (AMA) urges 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's statement (PDF) reads. "This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product."Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a "Schedule I" controlled substance, the most restrictive of five categories. Schedule I substances are considered to have a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug. Other drugs in that category include heroin, LSD and PCP. Less restrictive "Schedule II" substances include cocaine and methamphetamine.Previously, the AMA recommended marijuana remain a Schedule I controlled substance, but it now believes the substance deserves more clinical research.CBSNews.com Special Report: Marijuana Nation:http://www.cbsnews.com/2718-504243_162-156.html"Despite more than 30 years of clinical research, only a small number of randomized, controlled trials have been conducted on smoked cannabis," Dr. Edward Langston, an AMA board member, told the Los Angeles Times. Limited studies, he said, are "insufficient to satisfy the current standards for a prescription drug product."The White House drug czar's office gave a muted response to the AMA's recommendation, the LA Times reports, saying it would defer to "the FDA's judgment that the raw marijuana plant cannot meet the standards for identity, strength, quality, purity, packaging and labeling required of medicine."While the Obama administration opposes legalization of marijuana, the Justice Department last month announced it would no longer pursue prosecution for state-sanctioned medical marijuana sales. As many as 13 states now allow the use of medical marijuana.The debate over whether to legalize marijuana all together seems to be gaining steam. A Gallup poll last month showed a record 44 percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. Meanwhile, California residents may get to vote on a 2010 ballot measure to legalize the drug in the state.Source: CBS News (US Web)Author:  Stephanie CondonPublished: November 11, 2009 Copyright: 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.Website: http://www.cbsnews.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/AzAIK5sICannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #30 posted by Hope on November 13, 2009 at 21:59:42 PT
Interesting little tidbit about Sunil Aggarwal
Born and raised in Muskogee, Oklahoma.Go, Sooners!:0)
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on November 13, 2009 at 20:58:31 PT
Mr. Aggarwal
mentions our own Dr. Russo in the acknowledgments section of his dissertation, which can be read there at his website.
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on November 13, 2009 at 20:58:16 PT
Mr. Aggarwal
mentions our own Dr. Russo in the acknowledgments section of his dissertation, which can be read there at his website.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on November 13, 2009 at 20:52:21 PT
Mr. Aggarwal has a website
http://www.sunilaggarwal.net/
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on November 13, 2009 at 20:44:38 PT
A video of Sunil Agarwal speaking at Hempfest
http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/archives/184808.aspThere's a video right below the article I just referred to in the comment I made before this one..Really good.
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on November 13, 2009 at 20:00:44 PT
Sunil Aggarwal
One of these stories linked to this story about Mr. Aggarwal.Groundbreaking marijuana policy spearheaded by UW studenthttp://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/archives/184808.aspThank you Mr. Aggarwal and thank you, Herbdoc, and all the other patients that helped Mr. Aggarwal gather his research.Thank you so much.
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Comment #24 posted by rchandar on November 13, 2009 at 16:37:19 PT:
FoM
Thanks for the post. It's reflexive, of course: Schedule I is a salutary to the Singel Treaty and the UN Psychotropic Drugs Convention of 1988, which forbade the legalization of drugs for personal use.Now, it can be overturned. The DEA traditionally has argued that it should remain Schedule I; it was reviewed even under Bush. These are not insurmountable things, but let's face one fact: should we get this, MMJ is going to be a lot more strictly regulated than it is right now.Bill Burroughs used to say: "if America legalized it everyone would because the pressure's coming from America." that was in 1970: realistically, I don't know of any other time in my life when we had an opportunity to actually win some form of legalization; it was a moot point to start with.To think that our Attorney General, Drug Czar, or President are really interested in full legalization is an absurdity: they are not. Presidencies, however, are over a period of four years, possibly eight. There is a lot more momentum right now: the only thing that could actually upset it or upstage it would be a landslide Repub win in 2010. Which seems unlikely, unless the economy takes another nosedive.Now, if America did legalize pot, I can guarantee that the other nations would NOT follow. There are an abundance of countries around the world with very draconian policies crafted in the hope that the world would respect them more.--rchandar 
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on November 13, 2009 at 14:38:48 PT
Article From Newsweek's Blog
The American Medical Association Reconsiders Marijuana. Will The Justice Department Follow? (No.) November 13, 2009URL: http://drugsense.org/url/9tQQBx84
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on November 13, 2009 at 10:24:27 PT
Sunil Aggarwal
We have so many heroes. So many people to be grateful to and for. So many people who have worked so diligently, against terrible barriers, for so long, to right a terrible, terrible injustice.Thank you Mr. Aggarwal. Thank you so much.So many walls and barriers, battered against by so many for so long. These that finally break through, what an honor for them and a joy for all the rest of us.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on November 13, 2009 at 08:52:10 PT
runruff
That's so funny!
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Comment #20 posted by runruff on November 13, 2009 at 08:49:42 PT
I like "slay the lion"!
but it is more like eating an elephant: One bite at a time!
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on November 13, 2009 at 05:18:13 PT
rchandar 
I don't know how to slay the lion. I'm a pacifist. LOL!
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on November 13, 2009 at 05:16:47 PT
From The Seattle PI Blog
Groundbreaking Marijuana Policy Spearheaded by UW Student***Marijuana has long been classified as a dangerous drug with no medical benefits. But thanks in part to the work of a University of Washington medical student, a major medical association this week urged the federal government to reconsider."It's a huge shift on medical ideology," said Sunil Aggarwal, who's been studying the medical uses of marijuana for 10 years. "It's something I've been dreaming of since I was an undergraduate and found out that marijuana wasn't a horribly dangerous thing."Since 1997, the American Medical Association has taken a hard line against the drug, endorsing its classification as a Schedule 1 controlled substance -- the most restrictive category -- and asserting its lack of medical value. Aggarwal's research, published in his dissertation and in two articles in the Journal of Opioid Management -- helped convince AMA members that the drug has potential.URL: http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/archives/184808.asp
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Comment #17 posted by rchandar on November 13, 2009 at 03:05:37 PT:
Schedule I
If we succeed in reclassifying cannabis, it's an ENORMOUS victory, folks. One of the things that's most maddening about this world is the unrestricted and dogmatically certain stance of the DEA; that's something that lots of MJ activists color over with rage about when they might be pretty rational and sane otherwise.The point about cocaine and heroin being "Schedule II" is very timely: these are much more addictive and destructive drugs that cause health problems and ballistic types of psychosis. Yet, they can be administered, safely, as medicine. This is one move that should be pursued as aggressively and fortuitously as possible. To think that cannabis "has no medicinal value" is a slap in the face, a denial of about 4,000 years of carefully rendered medical studies in at least three dozen countries. Like I said, FoM, you're in the lion's den, so kill the lion and let us all eat the meat.--rchandar
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Comment #16 posted by tintala on November 12, 2009 at 08:40:10 PT:
FUNNY HOW THE CZAR thinks his word
is better than a doctors. Or the AMA or the majority of americans... the drug "czar" knows better what to do for the health of americans, ,,,,,,,..........NOT! Just love how politicians think they know better than their constituents or the doctors.! LOL... what a dictatorship! This dictatorship is almost 100 yrs old. isnt' it time we stop it... Bad thing in AMerican is, if we dont like something we just sit here behnid our computer complaining, if everyone who actually opposed prohibtion would go to the white house lawn or DEA door step and protest, they would have to listen because there would be millions of people clogging the streets, but that crap doesn't happen in good ole' passive usa.. WE should take our examples from NEPAL, where if NEPALESE don't like something millions drop what they are doing and PROTEST till either the country is shut down or the politicians listen!
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on November 12, 2009 at 08:03:17 PT
 Who is wisest man me or bureacratic mushroom?
"Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit!-Czar Gil"The DEA is dangerous and has no law enforcement benefit!-RunruffWhat was it Upton Sinclair said about truth and a mans employment? It is hard to convince a man of the truth when his living depends on believing a lie? Something like that?Burearcratic mushroom: Someone kept in the dark and fed bullpucky!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on November 12, 2009 at 07:31:35 PT
Wisconsin Radio Network
Doctors Group May Blaze Trail To Legal Medical MarijuanaNovember 11, 2009URL: http://www.wrn.com/2009/11/doctors-group-may-blaze-trail-to-legal-medical-marijuana/
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Comment #13 posted by freewillks on November 12, 2009 at 05:42:19 PT
Opening the door to debate
While I still think that the AMA is to blame for our current health care problems, I do think that this opens the door for honest debate and research that is not slanted by NIDA.
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Comment #12 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on November 11, 2009 at 21:55:55 PT
It sure is nice to see this crossed out -
(2) Our AMA recommends that marijuana be retained in
  Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act pending the
  outcome of such studies.I just wish copy/paste retained the line that goes through the entire sentence. It's simply lovely.Thank you AMA!
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Comment #11 posted by HempWorld on November 11, 2009 at 21:07:29 PT
AMA
I am so glad that the AMA now finally stands for something ... science, something measurable, verifiable and real!
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Comment #10 posted by sam adams on November 11, 2009 at 19:05:51 PT
ama
thanks dankhank, pdf is fine with me, will read this stuff later
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 11, 2009 at 19:00:51 PT
The Changing Debate Over Medical Marijuana
By Stephanie Smith, CNN Medical ProducerNovember 11, 2009URL: http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/11/the-changing-debate-over-medical-marijuana/
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Comment #8 posted by Dankhank on November 11, 2009 at 18:54:48 PT
AMA papers
http://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/AMA_Report_Recommendations.pdfhttp://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=5838http://www.acponline.org/advocacy/where_we_stand/other_issues/medmarijuana.pdfhttp://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/AMA_Report_Executive_Summary.pdfsorry for pdf'stry a different pdf reader ...http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/found them yesterday ...
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Comment #7 posted by HempWorld on November 11, 2009 at 17:18:46 PT
Thank you charmed quark, but why use both?
Any way, has anyone read this article: "UK: Column: Accept the Facts - and End This Futile 'War on Drugs'"It's really great! Link below, highly recommended:
UK: Column: Accept the Facts - and End This Futile 'War on Drugs' 
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on November 11, 2009 at 17:05:11 PT
AMA
How do we get a look at the AMA documents? I couldn't find anything on their website, I'd love to see their press release or the report on this
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Comment #5 posted by charmed quark on November 11, 2009 at 16:13:12 PT
HempWorld - they do call it cannabis
In the documents put otu by the AMA, they always use the scientific term "cannabis" and never the slang word "marijuana". The newspapers in reporting it use both terms.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on November 11, 2009 at 16:09:14 PT:
The fiscal vise jaws are beginning to squeeze
From the article FoM linked to:"I think it's a waste of energy and resources," said Supervisor Neal Coonerty, who joined John Leopold in trying to block the grant application. "We have limited resources in the criminal justice system. There are more serious drugs that have more serious consequences."Leopold said he, too, cast his vote to reflect a broader sentiment in the community that marijuana cases shouldn't distract sheriff's deputies from more pressing matters. (Emphasis mine -k.)And there it is, finally the admission we've all been waiting for. made publicly. And those who voted for this abject waste of the taxpayer's money should start dusting off their resumes, as they'll be remembered for their poor fiscal judgment come election time, when many unemployed voters who needed that money will be reminded of this waste.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 11, 2009 at 10:11:26 PT
AMA Advocates Change in Marijuana Classification
By Nick Anthis November 11, 2009 Yesterday, the influential AMA (American Medical Association) announced that it would cease its opposition to the concept of medical marijuana and instead advocate for a change in federal classification of the drug. From the LA Times: The American Medical Assn. on Tuesday urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use, a significant shift that puts the prestigious group behind calls for more research.The nation's largest physicians organization, with about 250,000 member doctors, the AMA has maintained since 1997 that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive category, which also includes heroin and LSD.URL: http://scienceblogs.com/scientificactivist/2009/11/ama_advocates_change_in_mariju.php
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on November 11, 2009 at 10:02:53 PT
Why does the AMA call it marijuana and not
cannabis?
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 11, 2009 at 08:33:29 PT
More Good To Read News
Two Santa Cruz County Supervisors Vote Against Sheriff's Request for Marijuana Enforcement Money***By Kurtis AlexanderNovember 11, 2009SANTA CRUZ -- The Sheriff's Office, hit hard by budget cuts, is seeking more than a quarter-million dollars in state funds to help crack down on marijuana growers and traffickers. What's normally a routine bid for extra money, however, has drawn resistance.Two of the five county supervisors, who must sign off on monetary requests, voted Tuesday against the sheriff's funding plan, citing the enforcement of marijuana laws as a low priority and almost dooming prospects of the new crime-fighting funds.URL: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_13760657
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