AMA Calls For Ending The "Schedule I Lie"

The Schedule I federal classification of cannabis — which states that, by law, the marijuana plant and its natural compounds have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” — has long since passed the point of farcical. Nevertheless, defenders of the so-called “Schedule I lie” have possessed, for nearly 30 years, one prestigious ally that they could always rely on to endorse their absurd position: the American Medical Association.
Not anymore!
Today the AMA voted to reverse its longstanding endorsement of cannabis’ Schedule I prohibitive status. The vote took place during the organization’s annual Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates in Houston, Texas, and marks the first time that the AMA has revisited its position on cannabis in eight years.
As newly amended, the AMA’s official position (see specifically pages 12, 13, and 14) regarding the medical use of cannabis no longer “recommends that marijuana be retained in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.” Rather, the Association now resolves “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 also today demolished long-held pot prohibitionist claim — frequently publicized by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and others — that “no sound scientific studies have supported medical use of smoked marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data support the safety or efficacy of smoked marijuana for general medical use.” To the contrary, the AMA has adopted a report drafted by its Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) entitled, “Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes,” which states, “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.”
Now that the AMA has finally acknowledged reality, is anyone else wondering if David Evans (or the DEA) will finally update their talking points?

0 thoughts

  1. In America ,you can abort your infant @ nine mos, but I cant grow a beautifull God given plant ? Where is the logic ? These laws are oppressive ! The ama is just blowing smoke so they can steel cannibus secrets & make big profits when they have some futuristic pill ! they are in cahoots w/big pharma & Big Gov ! I been researching cannibus for over fifty years , without any adverse side affects ,other than prohabition ! I personely dont take pharmacudicals because of the adverse side affects! Free the flower

  2. I’m no supporter of pharma (I used to work for PPD) and I hope the AMA isn’t in big pharma’s back pocket. But, this is good news. Surely there will be enough cannabis for everyone, even big pharma…

  3. Hey Augusta, i’m right there with you. Georgia needs for weed to be legalized because it is wayyyy too conservative down here. As for this, I am quite happy and definitely more hopeful for a change!

  4. I would be very skeptical of the AMA in this case. I do not believe they have the public’s best interests at heart, and will likely try to patent the cannabanoids so that we cannot grow cannabis for personal use. Watch them close, I do not think they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They are likely motivated by private interests, and money. Don’t let them trick you! Wait for a while to see what they do before saying that they are doing anything good.

  5. It is absolutely of no consequence that the AMA suddenly decides that cannabis has medical applications. So do the opiates, that doesn’t mean that the Drug War no longer drives heroin profits for organized crime, nor does it mean that illegal opiate users are not victims of sadistic law enforcement. The only excitement this generates is the false notion that, somehow, “medical marijuana” is a step for decriminalization. It is not. Medically applied opiates do not command black market prices. “Medical marijuana” continues to command black market prices. Why? Because “medical marijuana” is nothing more than a license to get high. The consumers know it and, most certainly, the growers and distributors know it. Maybe cannabis does have medical applications, but let’s face it, most “medical marijuana” users use cannabis for recreational purposes and use some medical condition as a legal cover for protection from law enforcement.

  6. Yes move it to schedule II so the drug companies can exploit the plant and create massive profits while we end consumers have no option for health care that is affordable! While the BIG banks RAPE the soul of this country and plead for bailouts with no sign of financial regulation in sight. YES big MR GOV Please keep arresting people for marijuana and please keep locking people in prisons for “marijuana”. That is where the tax dollars are best spent, we don’t need to invest in education or teachers, we need more police over education even though it only cost 25% less to educate students. Education is stupid and we should not educate anyone. Those inner city kids dont need education. They need more police and more prisons. We just need to build more prisons (sarcasm). THat is what the great USA is about. Where is the great part about these corrupt people supporting legalization. As far as i can tell people are still sitting in jail for marijuana offenses.

  7. can someone, ANYONE tell these people that many like myself have used medical pot for years, and DONT SMOKE…vaporizing…period…no damage…and if they want to point to “smoking” as an issue, lets point to cigs, then lets go to alcohol…its so ridiculous…I dont drink or smoke, but I use cannabis…way more healthy than those that use the other 2.

  8. …and one of their pillars of prohibition has fallen… It’s about time.
    I view most, if not all, progress made in the MMJ movement with skepticism because it does not attack the root of the problem.
    The Federal Controlled Substances Act is one of the most disastrous and ideologically flawed laws on the book. If it stands as is, we will continue to be stripped of our freedoms and privacy in the name of marijuana eradication. FINALLY it’s been attacked by some organization that matters. This is truly progress.

  9. Has anyone else realized that along with many law enforcement officers, NORML will also be out of a job once pot is legal.. hence this is the beginning of the end of NORML. Goodbye NORML!!!

  10. The decision to reschedule cannabis (I no longer use the “M” word, coined by William Randolph Hearst in the ’30s as part of his campaign to link the plant to the “undesirable” Mexicans) belongs to the DEA and/or the HHS. While the AMA is certainly a credible organization in the eyes of those two institutions, so are the dozens of organizations who have previously endorsed such rescheduling. And even though the AMA has that credibility, the vote to amend their policy on medical cannabis wasn’t even considered newsworthy to Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or even such online news sources as Google or Yahoo!. My initial reaction was one of elation, but logic brought me back down to earth. Sure, it’s an outstanding achievement for the AMA to amend its policy, but does it change the big picture? Unlikely.

  11. =-=-=-=-= ATTENTION Paul Armentano =-=-=-=-=
    Maybe you could get a new e-mail template up on the site for us to be able to spam our elected officials with this news?

  12. (does anyone else feel like this snowball gets bigger and bigger every day?)
    Yes.It will start an avalance soon. Cannabis will be legalized. Freedom is what is desired,but my friends, when cannabis is legalized,that will just be the start. TRUE FREEDOM begins when we force government to do as we wish…always. We cant stop just with cannabis. Our freedoms have been under assult for a very long time,this will just be the start. Our rights MUST be regained. Dont trade legal cannabis for chains. Dont capitulate where the government is concerned or we will wake and bake in chains.
    Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
    If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
    A little rebellion now and then…is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Letter to James Madison, 1787
    We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816
    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

  13. It’s about time some action along these lines are going to be taken…back in 84 I had the occassion to smoke marijuana around my g’mother and I wasn’t sure what her reaction was going to be…but when she did smell it, she said it smelled like some ‘medicine’ her grandfather used to use for asthma…she was about 11 at the time she said…this would have been in the early to mid 1920’s…back when marijuana and other narcotics were legal and readily available in many forms…THE BULLSHIT HAS TO STOP SOMETIME!!! Come on America…wake the fuck up and get real…

  14. This recommendation to study further is a shift in the right direction…still quite timid, given the abundance of studies already done. What exactly is the process for rescheduling cannabis? Can it be done by executive order? Does it require an act of congress or is it simply an administrative move that could be made right away? Which bureaucrat is in position to effect this change? We could put some pressure on the right people and prod them into action.

  15. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is big. I am really liking how fast progress is moving. We still have a long battle ahead but I think we might win someday. (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  16. I have MS& I have used nothing but marijuana for the last decade. I just had a MRI, the first in a decade. I still have MS, and I still have leisions on my brain, but in a decade they have not grown and one of them has shrunk, “No medical bennifits” BULLSHIT.
    Doctors better come around becuase their credibilty is on the line. ITS SIMPLE, JUST TELL THE TRUTH!

  17. this is another step up for the canabis consumer. altho, a small one.seems their are many more we must work to set in place before we can see the light.the good part is, for those of us who really need the herbs awesome properties, will be the most benefit. for those of us who wish to use recreationally, their is more time and, more work. still, for all the people who beleive in cannabis…thank you all.

  18. to 42
    hey general, we are all with you but, for many, our employers are not….get a big ol huber for me my friend!

  19. My Congressman in Fl already told me to go f*k myself with any marijuana reform stuff… So did the Governor and whoever director of Drug Control in the state of Florida. (and to think we have a bunch of Democrats in office…)

  20. “It’s about time scientists started defending science!”
    I have an idea… we should get all the scientists arguing against the religious ppl employed in supporting Cannabis, and we get all the scientists responsible for looking at Cannabis go argue with the religious people.
    This would be a more fair playing field.

  21. Well about damn time! Does this force the DEA to examine and reavaluate cannabis’ position on the CS list?

  22. In the wake of the AMA position on medical marijuana,I am urging the “College des Medecins de la province de Quebec” to similarly adopt a position favorable to the medical marijuana.
    Up until recently, the College has preferred not take position for lack of “medical evidence in the scientific literature”.
    A well defined view and politics by the College would no doubts stimulate the medical marijuana movement in Quebec and permit to compassion centres to offer
    a wider and more varied assortment of medical marijuana to the community. The Californian model
    should be taken into account to shape a truly
    “Quebec” approach to the issue of medical marijuana.
    The doctors should be able to prescribe wihout fear of reprisal.

  23. “but let’s face it, most “medical marijuana” users use cannabis for recreational purposes and use some medical condition as a legal cover for protection from law enforcement.”
    That is a flat out lie… yet another stupid stereotype made by some knuckle-dragger designed to demonize the user.

  24. #80, “flat out lie … designed to demonize the user”? How do you figure? Nobody faults people for trying to escape law enforcement by getting a “medical marijuana” license to get high, a permit from your well paid doctor. I don’t. But I don’t confuse this with progress towards Nationally Reforming Marijuana Laws either. As long as anyone is threatened by law enforcement for the simple possession of cannabis, then reforming marijuana laws has not occured. If you ask me, this should be a first priority and enthusiasm for anything else is a fatal distraction.
    “Medical marijuana” just does more to put more money in the hands of organized crime. Dope dealers are the real knuckle draggers here who rob the users with their black market prices.

  25. Im astonished/skeptical/a little proud that this has come out of TX, of all states…I live in San Antonio, and the general attitude toward cannabis is a hostile one…and just pure ignorance…If you use the word CANNABIS a majority of the people have no idea you’re talking about Marijuana…being hispanic, if I ever encounter another person of hispanic background that ignorantly advocates the current laws in place, and has that reefer madness mentality…I look at them in shame and see a “Tío Tom” who has no idea the reason this naturally occuring plant is illegal is because their great grandparents smoked it, and through that simple act the “Depressed” white men of the 1930’s found a way to demonize an entire race…and in turn, an entire workforce…It would be pure poetic justice for the Anti-Cannabis Laws to start here, and end here.

  26. Paul, I’m afraid I disagree with you on the dope dealers being the real knuckle-dragging demons here. That would be our very own government. after all, the dealers wouldn’t be dealing if there wasn’t a market. It wouldn’t be a market for those on the black market if it were on the open market. Nope, the real demons here are both the corrupt politicians who pretend to not know of the benefits of marijuana, and the citizens who are foolish enough to think they care about our well-being and liberty.

  27. Paul, (#81)
    It is a stereotype. People who are against medical pot have their angles, and “people only smoke to get high” is one of them. Back in the day, Nixon claimed that “people don’t drink to get drunk, and people only smoke marijuana to get high.”
    I am a medical user and the high is the side effect. I smoke to relax and relieve eye pressure (I am legally blind).
    As someone with a background in psychology, (4 year degree), I consider pot to be a viable alternative to anti-anxiety meds. Some people prefer pot, some prefer Xanax. To each their own, and what matters is the quality of life and emotional well-being of the user.
    I would say I’ve run across many people in my day who drink exclusively to get drunk.
    We are probably in agreement that both substances should be legal for the purpose of relaxation.
    I agree with you that drug dealers are a big problem, but prohibitionists are equally to blame. I, as a legit user, buy American! Please spare me that notion that medical pot helps drug dealers.
    Whether it’s “perfect” or not, medical pot is part of the process to soften people’s views on cannabis. Prohibitionists REALLY did a number on people back in the day.
    We are not at a point where outright legalization and taxation is even possible. There are too many socially retarded and greedy people in Congress blaming people like me for the world’s problems.

  28. Mateo: Take the ball and run with it. The rest of the country got their own initiatives going and we look to any victory, any time, for further inspiration. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. With any luck, they will be high pressure sodium lights

  29. “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–like raw carrots, potatoes, or cucumbers–cannot meet the standards for identity, strength, quality, purity, packaging and labeling required of medicine.”

  30. For all you youngsters out there…
    The AMA opposed criminalization of marijuana from the very start when the Harrison Act was passed,a spokesman for the AMA testified at the hearings to voice opposition.The congress not only passed the act over the AMA’s objections but actually lied and said it had the support of the AMA.
    The AMA continued to support no criminal penalties for any marijuana use until it finally caved in to the reefer madness mentality of the Reagan administration and changed it’s opinion to oppose any marijuana use.
    This is a welcome return to sanity and science based policy,although a review has already been done by DEA law Judge Francis Young in 1988,any new evidence will only strengthen the findings of that report.
    Here is one statement from that review…
    “Marijuana in it’s natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.By any measure of rational analysis,marijuana can be safely used under a supervised routine of medical care.”
    -Judge Francis Young -DEA
    The complete hearings can be found at Shafer Drug Library,search google for the site.

  31. It’s really interesting that cocaine, opium and pcp are Schedule II drugs, while cannabis (having never killed anyone nor caused cancer or any other problems) is still at Schedule I. How moronic.
    Also, did you know that in 1986 DRONABINOL PRODUCT (MARINOL) was moved from Schedule I to Schedule II? I didn’t know this before just now and find it appalling that the bastards will move a cannabis-based drug from I to II without moving cannabis itself as well. We all know why that is: pharmaceutical lobbyists.
    The “DEA” is a sham. What the USA and world needs is a group that can manage drug information and education based on FACTS, not on how much money they can make by making certain drugs illegal.

  32. First off I am VERY skeptical of the AMA. California recognized the medical potential of cannabis in 1996. Now, 13 years and 12 states later, the AMA changes their mind. Their stated goal is “to facilitate the research and development of cannabinoid based pharmaceuticals” I fear that IF the DEA reschedules cannabis it will come with stipulations (i.e. only the government can grow cannabis) and what happens once they have developed their cannabinoid drugs and are ready to sell them for $50/pill . . . the war on marijuana will be more fierce than ever. Thank you AMA for reversing your policy, I just hope this doesnt lead to a government takeover of the cannabis industry (they’ve already gotten more control over the banking, automobile, and health care industries, sometimes I feel like cannabis is the only thing we have left)

  33. Of course people get permits from their doctors to purchase “medical marijuana” in order to protect their recreational use from law enforcement. Notice that no prescription is involved. You can buy as much as you want any time you want. Any of the other drugs that are mood or sense altering drugs that are available with a prescription only can also be used for recreational purposes and are. There is a black market for prescription drugs used for recreational purposes.
    It doesn’t matter that there may be people who see some real medical benefit from using cannabis. Imagine that cannabis became a completely respected drug within the medical community. Then it becomes available by prescription and the black market for recreational use remains. Meanwhile, anyone who would charge black market prices for medicine, especially something that should be so easily available like the herbel remedy from cannabis, is a knuckle dragger and worse.

  34. How do not at least some of us have a valid “Religio-Medical” defense if we choose to use Cannibus for our own medicine for whatever we BELIEVE it to be useful for, as given to us from ESTABLISHED RELIGOUS DOCUMENTS (i.e the TORAH AND THE BIBLE…GENESIS)???
    Meaning I am a Christian,I have the right not to participate in Government programs I deem to violate my religous lifestyle as outlined by the Constitution (I.E. you can opt out your children out of public school for homeschool for religous purposes).Shouldn’t I have the right to choose my own GOD MADE medicine for my own person(NOT DISTRIBUTING or even SHARING to others)??As it is my Religious BELIEF that Cannibus DOES have at LEAST one medical benefit(calms my anxiety attacks), I should not be coerced through force to participate in the CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT and subsequent legislation as it pertains directly a GOD MADE PLANT (Not a man made derivative from a god made plant.) Because Even if ALL the studies in ALL the world infered ANY conclusions either For OR Against the “Actual Medical Value” of Cannibus it would be the Beliefs derived from man made STUDIES and NOT my RELIGOUS documents!!!Genesis 1.29: “God said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours.”
    Quite simply all the conclusions of these studies are based on a Logical Fallacy (post hoc, ergo propter hoc)Futhermore, all the tests and measurements would have only measured a previous event. Any future events of use CAN NOT be ABSOLUTELY PROVEN!!!To say one could do so would be to say one can prophess the future, or they would have to admitt that they are simply making a projection based off their OWN BELIEFs wich in turn are based on an outcome shown by a man made study.
    As such shouldn’t those of us with supporting Established Religous Documentaion(Torah, or Bible) be Free from the persecution of the Controlled Substances Act when using Cannibus as Strickly as medicine by rights of Religous Freedom???
    ps: Mr Armentano I would love to hear your thoughts on this….

  35. It’s about time. They WILL try to BS their way out of it. This should be fun to watch. And by the way, Texas recently dealt me a raw deal so I hope A LOT of em end up on unemployment!


  37. let’s not get our hopes up, ladies and gentlemen. We are talking about one of the only drugs (they call it a drug, i call it a plant containing chemical compounds) yet they’ve declared it to be the most dangerous drug on earth up until now. the first plant to ever be made illegal, and millions of us incarcerated later, they still put listening devices on citizens, bug our phones, fill the sky with helicopter in search of it growing both in the wild and being cultivated, bust up families, and in some cases, even kill us to make sure we do as we’re told. we may get it we may not, but i have absolutely no faith in this country’s facist regime’s ability to face truth. they’ll most likely just ignore the AMA until people stop being afraid that voicing their opinions will land them under a police surveilance warrant. marijuana will go legal the day they realize, i mean–Truly come to understand, that weed is the one thing that can turn our nation from a country of pill-addicts and smack heads back into a nation of farmers and neighbors. but since i don’t believe in government-based miracles, i’ll believe it when i see it. i live in southwest va, they’ve cracked down on pot so bad that this little farm community has exploded into an epidemic of addicts buying pills from neighbors, highschool kids who steal them from their parents, and mostly (not to mention saddest of all) they buy them out of retirement complexes where the elderly supplement their lacking income by selling off their oxycotin, their pain pills, xanaxs, and anything else someone else might want to crush up and snort. prohibition doesn’t just turn us into criminals, sometimes it turns pot heads into desperate junkies. and we actually have to pay the government our hard earned cash to do something so monstorous.

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