What Experts Say About Medical MarijuanaIn Their Own Words
Think medical marijuana is only supported by a small group of drug-reform organizations? Think again.
In fact, the medical use of cannabis receives exceptionally broad support, from former Surgeons General to numerous condition-based organizations.
"The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS - or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day."
- Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, "Myths About Medical Marijuana," Providence Journal, March 26, 2004
"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."
- American Medical Association (AMA), "Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes," November 10, 2009
"Nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana."
- Institute of Medicine, "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," 1999
"Given marijuana's proven efficacy at treating certain symptoms and its relatively low toxicity, reclassification would reduce barriers to research and increase availability of cannabinoid drugs to patients who have failed to respond to other treatments...ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws."
- American College of Physicians, "Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana," 2008
"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known... The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for [the] DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance."
- Francis L. Young, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, Ruling on Marijuana Rescheduling Petition, September 6, 1988
"By any of the major criteria of harm - mortality, morbidity, toxicity, addictiveness and relationship with crime - cannabis is less harmful than any of the other major illicit drugs, or than alcohol or tobacco."
- The Police Foundation (UK) "Drugs and the Law: Report of the Independent Inquiry," 2000
"We must not make criminals of seriously ill people. It is not a crime to be ill and to need to have access to pain relief. People who seek this therapy should be able to receive it. It is long past time for us to base our policies on science, not misguided politics."
- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, now Speaker of the House, in a statement issued June 15, 2005
"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society supports legislation to remove criminal and civil sanctions for the doctor-advised, medical use of marijuana by patients with serious physical medical conditions..."
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, July 2007
"My attitude is, if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that's something I'm open to because there's no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain."
- Senator Barack Obama, campaigning for President in Audubon, Iowa, November 2007