AMS Position Statement on Medical Cannabis 2016

In voting to oppose both ballot initiatives, the AMS Board of Trustees adopted the following position statement at their July 27th meeting:

While there is evidence that now suggests that cannabinoids may have beneficial clinical uses, the proposed initiated act is one of the most comprehensive, including over 55 conditions and/ or symptoms.  The proposed constitutional amendment (not yet certified for the ballot) contains a much smaller number (11 conditions or related symptoms).

There is huge potential for legal cannabis to be diverted to uses unrelated to medical care, especially among young people. This will add to our already growing problem of prescription drug abuse and the enforcement of illegal drug laws. 

Unlike FDA approved medications, cannabis has not been subjected to rigorous testing to determine proper dosing levels, and methods of administration. There is no way under the various state based medical cannabis laws, that dosing levels can be controlled, particularly with smoking as the most common form of use. We remain concerned that after decades of fighting tobacco use, it is contradictory to now suggest that smoking marijuana will not create many of the same respiratory problems created by smoking tobacco. 

AMS believes that given the potential for cannabis to help alleviate some conditions and symptoms, it is time for federal officials to lift the Schedule I classification and create an avenue, along with appropriate funding, to conduct well-designed clinical research that will enable cannabis and its related components to be treated like other prescription drugs, available in dosage controlled delivery systems and subject to the same rigorous product safety testing that we expect from our prescription drug system.