Despite the rash of dispensary raids in California headed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the California Medical Association has come out in favor of medical cannabis. Perhaps most surprising is that despite its call for the legalization of cannabis, California doctors still find cannabises effects of questionable medical value. Huh?
For the first time in history, a major medical association is pushing for the legalization of medical cannabis. Who had California’s Medical Association as their prop bet to support legalization?
Via the LA Times:
Trustees of the California Medical Assn., which represents more than 35,000 physicians statewide, adopted the position at their annual meeting in Anaheim late Friday. It is the first major medical association in the nation to urge legalization of the drug, according to a group spokeswoman, who said the larger membership was notified Saturday.
Dr. Donald Lyman, the Sacramento physician who wrote the group’s new policy, attributed the shift to growing frustration over California’s medical marijuana law, which permits cannabis use with a doctor’s recommendation. That, he said, has created an untenable situation for physicians: deciding whether to give patients a substance that is illegal under federal law.
But before the tokers of the world align themselves with these forward-thinking medical professionals, keep in mind they’re still as hazy as most pot smokers on the actual benefits of cannabis from a medical perspective. You know, like for cancer, glaucoma and other ailments medical marijuana aficionados like to rattle off like they actually know what they’re talking about.
The CMA’s new stance appears to have as much to do with politics as science. The group has rejected one of the main arguments of medical marijuana advocates, declaring that the substance has few proven health benefits and comparing it to a “folk remedy.”
The group acknowledges some health risk associated with marijuana use and proposes that it be regulated along the lines of alcohol and tobacco. But it says the consequences of criminalization outweigh the hazards.
Obviously, this announcement upset the law enforcement community. Which is weird, since they’re usually bulwark’s of progressive ideas about our
War Losing Battle on Drugs.
“I wonder what they’re smoking,” said John Lovell, spokesman for the California Police Chiefs Assn. “Given everything that we know about the physiological impacts of marijuana — how it affects young brains, the number of accidents associated with driving under the influence — it’s just an unbelievably irresponsible position.”
The medical community is also divided:
Dr. Robert DuPont, an M.D. and professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School, said the association’s call for legalization showed “a reckless disregard of the public health. I think it’s going to lead to more use, and that, to me, is a public health concern. I’m not sure they’ve thought through what the implications of legalization would be.”
It’s a good announcement, but there are a lot of factors to take into account. Smoking, in all forms ( I prefer the Camel Light variety for myself), causes cancer producing carcinogens that end up in your lungs and kill millions of people worldwide. Everyone knows this. What’s still up for debate is whether weed-infused brownies or rice-krispie treats are actually bad for you (no carcinogens). Also, when people think about whether this is safe for the general population, keep in mind everyone drinks (a powerfully addictive depressant), and we’re all smoking cigarettes legally as well. It’s the ol’ “But what about alcohol and tobacco!” argument spoiled rich kids have been arguing about on shakedown streets across the country while they smoke their cigarettes, drink their micro-brew and make sure their $400 boots don’t get to dirty.*
*Sorry, I live in New York. This shit is getting into my brain from repetition.
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