And what have these studies taught us? In short, experts have concluded have thatmarijuana may be used safely and effectively to treat a broad range of symptoms
including neuropathic (nerve) pain, spasticity, nausea, incontinence, and decreasedappetite. In fact, just this year the results of a series of double-blind, placebo-controlledtrials assessing the safety and efficacy of inhaled marijuana reported that the drugalleviated neuropathic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis in a manner that was asgood or superior to conventional pharmaceutical medications.
Further, emerging clinical and preclinical studies indicate that marijuana and its activecomponents may actually modify the course of various debilitating diseases. Of particular
interest, scientists are investigating marijuana’s capacity to moderate autoimmune
disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory boweldisease
, as well as the substance’s role in the treatment of neurological
disorders such asAlzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease.)Consequently many, if not most individuals in the scientific and health communityendorse legal access to the use of cannabis as medicine. Dozens of national and statehealth care organizations -- including the American Public Health Association,
theAmerican Nurses Association,
and the AIDS Action Council
-- have enactingresolutions backing patients' access to marijuana under a doctor's supervision. American physicians are also supportive, with nearly half of all doctors with an opinion on thesubject supporting legalizing cannabis as a medicine, according to a recent nationalsurvey published in the
Journal of Addictive Diseases
Most recently, the American Medical Association concluded in November, "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.”
The AMA resolved,"[The] AMA urges that marijuana's status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance bereviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of
Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. 2010.
Report to the Legislature and Governor of the State of California presenting findings pursuant to SB847 which created the CMCR and provided state funding
. SanDiego, CAhttp://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/CMCR_REPORT_FEB17.pdf
American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513: "Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis."The resolution states, in part, that the APHA "encourages research of the therapeutic properties of variouscannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids, and urges the Administration and Congress to moveexpeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine.
American Nurses Association, June 2003 Resolution: "The ANA will Support legislation to removecriminal penalties including arrest and imprisonment for bona fide patients and prescribers of therapeutic
AIDS Action Council, "Resolution in Support of Access to Medical-Use Marijuana," adopted by thePublic Policy Committee of AIDS Action Council: November 15, 1996. The resolution states, in part, thatthe Council "supports the elimination of federal restrictions that bar doctors from prescribing marijuana for medical use by individuals with HIV/AIDS."
Charuvastra et al. 2005. Physician Attitudes Regarding the Prescription of Medical Marijuana.
Journal of Addictive Diseases