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Ear to the Ground

California Medical Assn. Says Pot Should Be Legal

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Posted on Oct 17, 2011
Alejandro Forero Cuervo (CC-BY)

With the Obama administration threatening to seize medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the state, the California Medical Association voted Friday to support the decriminalization of marijuana. The association, the state’s largest physician organization, originally opposed California’s 15-year-old medical marijuana initiative.

The group continues to be skeptical of the medical value of marijuana, according to a Los Angeles Times report, but the CMA is calling for medical testing and for marijuana to be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.

The organization’s president said in a statement: “CMA may be the first organization of its kind to take this position, but we won’t be the last. This was a carefully considered, deliberative decision made exclusively on medical and scientific grounds.”

A spokesman for the California Police Chiefs Association was quoted by The Times as saying in response to the decision, “I wonder what they’re smoking.”  —PZS

California Medical Association:

“CMA may be the first organization of its kind to take this position, but we won’t be the last. This was a carefully considered, deliberative decision made exclusively on medical and scientific grounds,” said James T. Hay, M.D., CMA President-Elect. “As physicians, we need to have a better understanding about the benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis so that we can provide the best care possible to our patients.”

CMA’s Board of Trustees, a representative body of physician delegations across the state, adopted the policy without objection.

The federal government currently lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug. That classification restricts the research and ability to study the substance. Part of the policy adopted by CMA emphasizes that the drug should be rescheduled in addition to being legalized.

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By Matthew - Promotional Products, January 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

This represents a shift in attitudes towards marijuana. While most people associate the drug to the hippies movement of the 60s, and treat it like a vice, there are more and more who see the benefits it has from a medical point of view. There are a serious few who wish to legalize it so that patients have access to it, while there are people who want it legalize just so they can smoke it leisurely without fear of persecution.

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By PatrickHenry, October 20, 2011 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

How Ron Paul weighs in on this and other industrial Hemp uses.

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By skimohawk, October 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

news: latest Gallup poll “Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use”

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By skimohawk, October 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

I, like Migs, got the “error 404” message, and was unable to read the complete article.

“War on Drugs” = “Volstead Act”
Both monstrously expensive masturbatory excercises in futility.
But hey, our “War on Drugs” sure put a lot of young black men in prison, didn’t it? You have to give them credit for accomplishing that!

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By Rodney, October 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
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Marijuana is illegal because people can grow it

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By Migs, October 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

When I click on the link to read more it says the page is no longer available.

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By PatrickHenry, October 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

They’re just a bunch of doctors, what do they know.

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By johncp, October 17, 2011 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

It’s astonishing how two-faced Obama is.  Try as you will, Obama supporters, this man will do anything, betray any principle or promise, to please his big contributors, and remain in office for a second term, even when the issue against which Obama has gone back on his earlier, stated approval, is defended by half, or more, of those that would vote for him.

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By Memory Stick, October 17, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
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If, as the Feds state, Marijuana has no medical value why do they hold a patent on “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”

If there were any reporters in the mainstream media wouldn’t this question be asked at least a few times?

Since our government holds the patent, don’t we all own it too?

These questions need to be asked. Will they?

I’m not holding my breath.

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By mrfreeze, October 17, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

The prohibition of marijuana (globally) is proof positive that our species is inherently absurd. All one needs to do is watch the pharma-commercials to know how ridiculous this all is: “Elantra (or some other “sleeping” medication) may cause oily-rectal discharge, raise blood pressure, explode one’s genitals, bring on hallucinatioins, etc…...” Yes, 99% of the drugs pushed by big-pharma on TV have side-effects that boggle the mind…...AND THEY HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND ARE LEGAL???????????? No one in the government or law enforcement is calling for a ban on this stuff. It’s all about keeping the DEA, FBI, TGF and any number of other “law enforcement” agencies in business…......and it all stinks.

(full disclosure - I don’t use pot)

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By lasmog, October 17, 2011 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

Good for the CMA. Marijuana prohibition is part of the disastrous war on drugs that harms our nation far more than smoking pot. If we were actually serious about protecting Americans from dangerous drugs we would have banned tobacco 50 years ago.

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By malcolm kyle, October 17, 2011 at 4:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who would have thunk it? More than 35,000 California physicians have finally
decided to call for some ‘effective harm reduction’. I wonder when they’ll decide
it’s time they fully recognized ‘sound medical science’?


Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and
lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active
components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and
increased the mice’s lifespans. Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of
Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.


In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice
and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The
rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, “in a dose-dependent
manner” (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors). NTP Technical Report On
The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-
Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice,
Gavage Studies. See also, “Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found
THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer,” AIDS Treatment News no. 263,
Jan. 17, 1997.


Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000
patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers,
tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively
higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn’t also
use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk
overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than
non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney,
S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer
Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.


Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-
control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a
matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no
increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers
(tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased Lung Cancer risk). Tashkin D.
Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American
Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.


In response to passage of California’s medical marijuana law, the White House
had the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the data on marijuana’s medical
benefits and risks. The IOM concluded, “Nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety
are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.” The report
also added, “we acknowledge that there is no clear alternative for people
suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana,
such as pain or AIDS wasting.” The government’s refusal to acknowledge this
finding caused co-author John A. Benson to tell the New York Times that the
government “loves to ignore our report … they would rather it never happened.”
Joy, JE, Watson, SJ, and Benson, JA. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science
Base. National Academy Press. 1999. p. 159. See also, Harris, G. FDA Dismisses
Medical Benefit From Marijuana. New York Times. Apr. 21, 2006

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