JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — It seems that medical marijuana has gained some support recently.
A Missouri House bill that would allow those with certain serious medical conditions to use medical cannabis has 14 cosponsors — five gained since Monday — 4 of which are committee chairs.
And now, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has come out in support of legalizing “real” medical marijuana — though they are not supporting any specific legislation.
“NCADA believes that anyone with a serious illness that has not responded to conventional therapies should be able to try marijuana if a licensed physician has good reason to believe it could offer relief from infirmity,” the NCADA in St. Louis said in a letter to legislators.
Medical marijuana is not a human rights issues, but rather a public health issue, according to the NCADA.
“In this country, we do not legislate what is, and is not, a medicine,” the NCADA said. “Marijuana likely has potential as an effective medicine for a number of conditions.”
They stated that there is a difference between “folk remedy marijuana” and “real medical marijuana.” Oftentimes, advocates talk about marijuana as an alternative to modern medicine, or in other words: a folk remedy. In contrast, the NCADA believes that the active ingredients in marijuana should be turned into FDA-approved medicines.
“We believe that marijuana should move to FDA Schedule II and be researched for potential benefits,” the NCADA said. “To date, the preponderance of research into marijuana has been about it’s harms; it’s certainly time to fast-track research into it benefits, and to finally approve cannabis-based pharmaceuticals, like Sativex and Epidiolex.”
They note that like all medicines, there are risks associated with marijuana but the key for sound medical decision-making is balance risks and benefits.
“This calculus should take precedence over political expediency and should be determined by doctors and medical ethicists,” the NCADA stated. “These are health decisions better made by informed professionals, not anyone who’s merely eligible to vote.”
Read the full statement here:
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.