AMA: Cautious ‘Yes’ to Public Option; ‘No’ to Legal Cannabis | MedPage Today

There is no good argument to legalize marijuana and no arugument valid to support retail sales. But let’s not let science get in the way of politics and government revenue sources.

Concerns About Cannabis Delegates also debated a report from the AMA Council on Science and Public Health regarding the public health impacts of cannabis legislation. The report noted that current AMA policy “categorizes cannabis as a dangerous drug and public health concern” and believes that its sale to adults “should not be legalized,” and that “With respect to criminal penalties, our AMA believes that public health-based strategies, rather than incarceration, should be utilized in the handling of individuals possessing cannabis for personal use. A plea of cannabis intoxication should not be a defense in any criminal proceedings.”

The report recommended adding to AMA policy a suggestion for states that have already legalized cannabis to “regulate retail sales, marketing, and promotion intended to encourage use; limit the potency of cannabis extracts and concentrates; require packaging to convey meaningful and easily understood units of consumption, and require that for commercially available edibles, packaging must be child-resistant and come with messaging about the hazards about unintentional ingestion in children and youth.”

The report also affirmed that the AMA “will advocate for stronger public health messaging on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoid inhalation and ingestion, with an emphasis on reducing initiation and frequency of cannabis use among adolescents, especially high potency products; use among women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy; and avoiding cannabis-impaired driving;” and that the AMA “supports social equity programs to address the impacts of cannabis prohibition and enforcement policies that have disproportionately impacted marginalized and minoritized communities.”

Source: AMA: Cautious ‘Yes’ to Public Option; ‘No’ to Legal Cannabis | MedPage Today


  1. The evidence offered up by the AMA report for harm in the extreme of marijuana was slight and mostly anecdotal. They could have issued a similar report for bike riding and recommended that be illegal. Or dare I say alcohol. Just because you have science, which I believe is very important ( can’t believe I have to caveat that nowadays), behind you is not the end of it. There are always other considerations.


    1. What about the many other studies showing the long term affects? Interesting conversation though that we even need to discuss adding another item that humans need to stimulate themselves with.


      1. I do not know how many times I have to say it, but we are not adding anything, MARIJUANA is available in every state state, no matter what the law says. Why let the drug cartels continue to make billions on illegal marijuana sales. It is much better to let our citizens make money and pay taxes, just like they do with alcohol and other products that a free society want to buy.


      2. We are adding retail sale stores and that changes the complexity and legitimacy of use meanwhile nothing changes for the underground selling to those under 21. Go walk down the streets of poor neighborhoods and count the liquor stores sapping the communities. The argument that this is no different than alcohol is meaningless and doesn’t mean we need to make things worse for those who can least afford it.


    2. Funny, the AMA does have a policy on bicycle helmets. They are correct that you are subject to more severe head injuries if you fall or get hit. Their policy (H-10.964) encourages physicians to educate their patients about the importance of bicycle helmet use. Frankly, I know if I fall and hit my head, I can be severely injured. I have better things to talk about with my doctor, like all those drugs on TV that I have to ask my doctor about. It is nice that the AMA has decided hopefully by studies, that people with helmets had less severe injuries and this data should be given to the people who make policies and laws.

      I look at a AMA position as a consensus of large number of doctors who exercise their medical opinions based on their experience and real world data and who also support opposing points of view to validate their own opinion. This consensus may only be by 51% of the AMA. But lately, “official positions” has been restricted to a few doctors who get the media’s attention and don’t get censored and support the narrative in time for a newscast deadline. If what I am seeing today is how all the other recommendations have been made, I must start questioning them too.

      Conducting marijuana studies in the U.S. has been mostly outlawed because of the drug federal classification. You would think that we would have some great studies by now, but we don’t. I do not think that marijuana is any worse than alcohol and probably destroys your lungs like tobacco, but something going to kill you. You could just ride a bike. Hopely, I won’t be kill by someone using or drinking.


  2. Too late, the horse has left the barn.
    The AMA better get in front of of Oregon legalize hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamines this past election. Users think they will be able to get jobs and rent better apartments because thy will not have criminal records for using. News flash, it is still illegal at the federal level and there are many job sectors require to test their employees for drugs.


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