Monday, October 17, 2011
A big leap has occurred this week regarding the legalization of marijuana in the state of California, a cause that now has the support of the California Medical Association (CMA). The policy was adopted by the CMA at its annual meeting on Friday; the association represents more than 35,000 doctors. The CMA is the first major medical organization to support marijuana legalization, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The way it works now has many doctors uncomfortable with recommending a drug for medical use when the federal government still deems the drug illegal. Furthermore, it is quite difficult to conduct testing on the drug in order to determine its medical values. The CMA would like the Obama administration to legalize the drug so that such testing can be conducted. The association hopes that marijuana can be monitored the same way big tobacco has been for years.
The CMA released a statement, stating that it advocates the regulation of medical marijuana “to allow for wider clinical research, accountable and quality controlled production of the substance and proper public awareness.” They also support the legalization of recreational marijuana use so states can regulate it for purity and safety.
Not everyone shares the CMA’s sentiments regarding legalization, John Lovell, spokesman for the California Police Chiefs Association, responded to the proposal, “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.”
It is easy to support both arguments on this subject, and this will most likely be debated for years to come. The drug certainly has medical properties, but, it also has addictive properties as well as effects on the brain. It seems unlikely that the federal government will heed the call form the CMA considering that it just announced that dispensaries and growers in medical marijuana states are not immune to punishment just because the state they are in allows it.