The California Medical Association on Oct. 14 became the first medical organization to openly recommend the full legalization of marijuana.
Immediately after the CMA released its position on the issue, the association received criticism from the California Police Chiefs Association as well as doctors who deemed the statement as irresponsible.
The issue has been hotly debated among doctors in California.
“CMA may be the first organization of its kind to take this position, but we won’t be the last,” said CMA President-elect Dr. James T. Hay in a recent article in Slate. “This was a carefully considered, deliberative decision made exclusively on medical and scientific grounds.”
California is one of 16 states in the United States, along with Washington, D.C., that has legalized the use of medical marijuana by those with doctors’ recommendations.
Patients with cases ranging from cancer to people with ADHD are prescribed medicinal marijuana to help them get through their day-to-day lives.
Despite President Barack Obama’s recent crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries throughout America, especially in California, the CMA still stood by the notion that weed should be fully legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco.
Marijuana, if legalized, is not expected to provide any specific long-term health benefits, but will be more safely available for research to discover what possible benefits and risks medical patients face.
“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,” Hay said in a news release by the CMA.
With better understanding of these benefits and risks, doctors can more confidently provide for their patients’ best interests and have a clearer understanding of what they can prescribe the medicinal herb for when recommending it to patients.
The bigger problem physicians face today is while marijuana is legal in 16 states and Washington, D.C. according to their individual laws, it is illegal under federal law.
Therefore many doctors feel uncomfortable giving their patients something that may end in legal troubles for the patient or themselves.
The legalization of marijuana is a productive means of furthering ourselves down the path to greater understanding of other medicinal uses marijuana has to suffering patients.
Not only does it allow us to advance our own knowledge of the herb and its benefits, but making it legal will protect the many medicinal users across the Golden State and the other 15 sovereign states of the United States.
Now that a stance has been taken by one of the major medical associations in the nation, hopefully more supporters will reveal themselves and push for the legalization across the United States.
The full legalization of marijuana in not only California but throughout the entire United States will help the economy and marijuana researchers will be able to better understand the drug’s positive or negative effects.