About Cannabis: Medical Marijuana

Articles and useful links:

PA4MMJ/PhillyNORML Medical Marijuana and HB 1393 Info Tri-fold Pamphlet (PDF)

Cannabis in medical practice: a legal, historical, and pharmacological...

Analgesic Effect of the Synthetic Cannabinoid CT-3 on Chronic Neuropathic Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial (PDF)

The Brain's Own Marijuana

The endocannabinoid system: a general view and latest additions

The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy

The Emerging Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Endocrine Regulation and Energy Balance

Dosing Medical Marijuana: Rational Guidelines on Trial in Washington State

Cannabidiol Enhances the Inhibitory Effects of Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Human Glioblastoma Cell Proliferation and Survival (PDF)

Other Documents

History as Medicine

Marijuana has been used as a medicine for centuries, since between 2,000 and 5,000 BC in China. Up until the year 1942, Cannabis sativa – marijuana – was a part of the US Pharmacopoeia when it was removed. The American Medical Association was the only dissenting voice when cannabis was originally made illegal. Dr. William C. Woodward, testifying on behalf of the AMA, told Congress that, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug" and warned that a prohibition "loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis."

There are dozens of ailments which marijuana can help alleviate. Below is just a sample of the research that's been done:

HIV/AIDS
The effectiveness of cannabis for treating symptoms related to HIV/AIDS is widely recognized. Its value as an anti-emetic and analgesic has been proven in numerous studies and has been recognized by several comprehensive, government-sponsored reviews, including those conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the U.K. House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, the Australian National Task Force on Cannabis, and others.

The IOM concluded, "For patients such as those with AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy and who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief not found in any other single medication."[12]

Research published in 2004 found that nearly one-quarter of AIDS patients were using cannabis. A majority reported relief of anxiety and/or depression and improved appetite, while nearly a third said it also increased pleasure and provided relief of pain.[13]

AIDS wasting syndrome was a very frequent complication of HIV infection prior to the advent of protease-inhibitor drugs,[14] and has been associated with major weight loss and cachexia, conditions that further debilitate its victims, who are already weakened by immune system failure and opportunistic infections. Cannabis has been a frequently employed alternative medicine for the condition, particularly in the USA,[15] because of its reported benefits on appetite and amelioration of other AIDS symptoms. In the rest of the world, where such medications are seldom affordable, AIDS wasting remains a common problem to the extent that it is known in Africa as 'slim disease'.[16]

Research findings on cannabis and HIV/AIDS

Beginning in the 1970s, a series of human clinical trials established cannabis' ability to stimulate food intake and weight gain in healthy volunteers. In a randomized trial in AIDS patients, THC significantly improved appetite and nausea in comparison with placebo. There were also trends towards improved mood and weight gain. Unwanted effects were generally mild or moderate in intensity. The possible benefit of cannabis in AIDS made it one of the lead indications for such treatment in the judgment of the American Institute of Medicine in their study.[17-23]

A preliminary safety trial conducted at the University of California at San Francisco found that inhaled cannabis does not interfere with the effectiveness of protease inhibitors in patients suffering from HIV or AIDS. It also found that patients in the study who used cannabis gained weight.[24]

Dronabinol (a.k.a. "Marinol" or oral THC) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anti-emetic and appetite stimulant for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy or suffering from AIDS. The FDA approved the drug for this use in 1992 after several clinical trials determined it stimulated weight gain in HIV-infected patients.[25] In one study, 70 percent of patients administered Marinol gained weight.[26]

The 1999 report by the IOM concluded: "It is well recognized that Marinol's oral route of administration hampers its effectiveness because of slow absorption and patients' desire for more control over dosing. ... In contrast, inhaled marijuana is rapidly absorbed."[27] In a series of U.S. state studies in the 1980s, cancer patients given a choice between using inhaled marijuana and oral THC overwhelmingly chose cannabis.[28]

While the benefits of cannabis for HIV/AIDS patients are well established, research continues around the world. In 2002, researchers began a Canadian government-sponsored trial evaluating the appetite-enhancing effects of smoked cannabis in HIV/AIDS, the safety of short-term exposure to cannabis, its interaction with HIV medications, and its effects on nausea, pain, mood and neuro-cognitive function. In 2004 New South Wales in Australia will begin making cannabis available to HIV/AIDS patients and other seriously ill individuals for both research and compassionate use.

The University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is currently conducting three HIV/AIDS related studies: two on cannabis as treatment for neuropathy, a condition which afflicts AIDS, diabetes and other patients with severe tingling and pain in their hands and feet, and one on how repeated treatment with cannabis affects the driving ability of patients with HIV-related neuropathy.

Over 30% of patients with HIV/AIDS suffer from excruciating pain in the nerve endings (polyneuropathies), many in response to the antiretroviral therapies that constitute the first line of treatment for HIV/AIDS.[29-31] But, there is no approved treatment for such pain that is satisfactory for a majority of patients. As a result, some patients must reduce or discontinue their HIV/AIDS therapy because they can neither tolerate nor eliminate the debilitating side effects of the antiretroviral first-line medications.[32]

Patients with various pain syndromes claim significant relief from cannabis. This is particularly true for patients suffering from neuropathic pain, a symptom commonly associated with HIV/AIDS and a variety of other illnesses or conditions.

In fact, British researchers have recently reported that cannabis extract sprayed under the tongue was effective in reducing pain in 18 of 23 patients who were suffering from intractable pain.[33] The validity of their experiences is corroborated by studies in which cannabinoids have been shown to be effective analgesics in animal pain models.[34]

Read more about HIV/AIDS and medical marijuana at Americans for Safe Access.
Cancer

Cannabis has been found to help cancer patients with pain and nausea, and recent research indicates it has tumor-reducing and anti-carcinogenic properties properties as well. It has proven highly effective at controlling the nausea associated with chemotherapy, and its appetite-stimulation properties help combat wasting. Cannabis can also help control the pain associated with some cancers, as well as that resulting from radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

Cannabis and chemotherapy side effects

One of the most widely studied therapeutic applications for cannabis and  the pharmaceutical drugs derived from cannabinoids is in the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.. Numerous clinical studies have reported that the use of cannabis reduces nausea and vomiting and stimulates appetite, thereby reducing the severity of cachexia, or wasting syndrome, in patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.

The 1999 Institutes of Medicine report concluded: "In patients already experiencing severe nausea or vomiting, pills are generally ineffective, because of the difficulty in swallowing or keeping a pill down, and slow onset of the drug effect. Thus an inhalation (but, preferably not smoking) cannabinoid drug delivery system would be advantageous for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea."12

A 1997 inquiry by the British Medical Association found cannabis more effective than Marinol, and a 1998 review by the House of Lords Science & Technology Select Committee concluded that "Cannabinoids are undoubtedly effective as anti-emetic agents in vomiting induced by anti-cancer drugs. Some users of both find cannabis itself more effective."13

In the last three years, there have been major advances in both cannabinoid pharmacology and in understanding of the cancer disease process. In particular, research has demonstrated the presence of numerous cannabinoid receptors in the nucleus of the solitary tract, a brain center important in control of vomiting.

Although other recently developed anti-emetics are as effective or more effective than oral THC, nabilone or smoked cannabis, for certain individuals unresponsive to conventional anti-emetic drugs, the use of smoked cannabis can provide relief more effectively than oral preparations which may be difficult to swallow or be vomited before taking effect, as the IOM report notes.

The psychoactive/euphoriant effects of THC or inhaled cannabis may also provide an improvement in mood. By contrast, several conventional medications commonly prescribed for cancer patients, e.g. phenothiazines such as haloperidol (known as "major tranquillizers") may produce unwanted side effects such as excessive sedation, flattening of mood, and/or distressing physical "extrapyramidal" symptoms such as uncontrolled or compulsive movements.

While clinical research on using cannabis medicinally has been severely limited by federal prohibition,the accumulated data speaks strongly in favor of considering it as an option for most cancer patients, and many oncologists do. Survey data from a Harvard Medical School study in 1990, before any states had approved medical use, shows that 44% of oncologists had recommended cannabis to at least some of their patients. Nearly half said they would do so if the laws were changed. According the American Cancer Society's 2003 data, more than 1,300,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year.15  At least 300,000 of them will undergo chemotherapy, meaning as many as 132,000 patients annually may have cannabis recommended to them to help fight the side effects of conventional treatments.

As the Institutes of Medicine report concluded, "nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety … all can be mitigated by marijuana."

Research on cannabis and chemotherapy

Cannabis is used to combat pain caused by various cancers and nausea induced by chemotherapy agents. Over 30 human clinical trials have examined the effects of cannabis or synthetic cannabinoids on nausea, not including several U.S. state trials that took place between 1978 and 1986.16 In reviewing this literature, Hall et al. concluded that ". . . THC [delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol] is superior to placebo, and equivalent in effectiveness to other widely-used anti-emetic drugs, in its capacity to reduce the nausea and vomiting caused by some chemotherapy regimens in some cancer patients."17 A 2003 study found "Cannabinoids—the active components of cannabis sativa and their derivatives—exert palliative effects in cancer patients by preventing nausea, vomiting and pain and by stimulating appetite. In addition, these compounds have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumor cells in culture and animal models by modulating key cell-signaling pathways. Cannabinoids are usually well tolerated, and do not produce the generalized toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies."18


Authors of the Institute of Medicine report, "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," found that there are certain cancer patients for whom cannabis should be a valid medical option.19 A random-sample anonymous survey conducted in the spring of 1990 measured the attitudes and experiences of oncologists concerning the antiemetic use of cannabis in cancer chemotherapy patients. Of the respondents expressing an opinion, a majority (54%) thought cannabis should be available by prescription.20

Cancer-fighting properties of cannabis

More than twenty major studies published between 2001 and 2006have shown that the chemicals in cannabis known as cannabinoids have a significant effect fighting cancer cells. We now know cannabinoids arrest many kinds of cancer growths (brain, breast, leukemic, melanoma, phaeochromocytoma, et al.) through promotion of apoptosis (programmed cell death) that is lost in tumors, and by arresting angiogenesis (increased blood vessel production).

Recent scientific advances in the study of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids have produced exciting new leads in the search for anti-cancer treatments.

There is growing evidence of direct anti-tumor activity of cannabinoids, specifically CB1 and CB2 agonists, in a range of cancer types including brain (gliomas), skin, pituitary, prostate and bowel. The antitumor activity has led in laboratory animals and in-vitro human tissues to regression of tumors, reductions in vascularisation (blood supply) and metastases (secondary tumors), as well as direct inducement of death (apoptosis) among cancer cells. Indeed, the complex interactions of endogenous cannabinoids and receptors are leading to greater scientific understanding of the mechanisms by which cancers develop.

The findings of these studies are borne out by the reports of such patients as Steve Kubby, whose cannabis use is credited with keeping a rare, terminal cancer in a state of remission for decades beyond conventional expectations.

Research on tumor reduction

Although cannabis smoke has been shown to have precancerous-causing effects in animal tissue, epidemiological studies on humans have failed to link cannabis smoking with cancer.21,22  If smoke inhalation is a concern, cannabis can be used with a vaporizer, orally in baked goods, and topically as a tincture or a suppository.

Cannabinoids, the active components of cannabis, have been shown to exhibit anti-tumor properties. Multiple studies published between 2001 and 2006 found that cannabinoids inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals.23-27 In another study, injections of synthetic THC eradicated malignant brain tumors in one-third of treated rats, and prolonged life in another third by as much as six weeks.28 Other journals have also reported on cannabinoids' antitumoral potential.29-35 Italian research teams reported in 1998 and 2001 that the endocannabinoid anandamide, which binds to the same brain receptors as cannabis, "potently and selectively inhibits the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro" by interfering with their DNA production cycle.36-38 Cannabis has been shown in recent studies to inhibit the growth of thyroid, prostate and colorectal cancer cells.39-41 THC has been found to cause the death of glioma cells.42,43 And research on pituitary cancers shows cannabinoids are key to regulating human pituitary hormone secretion.44-47

In 2004 an Italian research team demonstrated that the administration of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) to nude mice significantly inhibited the growth of subcutaneously implanted U87 human glioma cells. The authors of the study concluded that "… CBD was able to produce a significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent (an agent that inhibits the growth of malignant cells.)"48  

More recently, investigators at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute reported that the administration of THC on human glioblastoma multiforme cell lines decreased the proliferation of malignant cells and induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) more rapidly than did the administration of an alternative synthetic cannabis receptor agonist.49

In the largest study of it's kind, Dr. Donald Tashkin, a researcher and professor at UCLA, determined that marijuana use - even extremely heavy use - does not cause lung, neck, or mouth cancer.
"We know that there are as many or more carcinogens and co-carcinogens in marijuana smoke as in cigarettes," researcher Donald Tashkin, MD, of UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine tells WebMD. "But we did not find any evidence for an increase in cancer risk for even heavy marijuana smoking." (3)
Dr. Tashkin was kind enough to do an interview with the Marijuana And Prohibition Project, or MAPP, to discuss this and his other findings. The video is available online in two parts, which you can view here:

View Dr. Tashkin Video Part 1 | View Dr. Tashkin Video Part 2

In 1988, the DEA's Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, ruled after extensive hearings that,
"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known... It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance... (1)"
In 1996, California legalized the use of marijuana as medicine. The wording of Proposition 215 allowed for cannabis to be recommended for any illness. In response, the Clinton Administration commissioned the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine to report on medical marijuana. In 1999 they released their report, entitled "Marijuana and Medicine - Assessing the Science Base." In it, they came to the conclusion that marijuana has significant potential as medicine on a number of ailments, that "except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications," and that "the short-term immunosuppressive effects are not well established but, if they exist, are not likely great enough to preclude a legitimate medical use. (2)".

Read more about cancer and medical marijuana at Americans for Safe Access.
View the IoM's full recommendations.

Since the IoM report, hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have been done on medical marijuana. Research indicates that a number of ailments may benefit from cannabis, including Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Diabetes Mellitus, Dystonia, Fibromyalgia, GI Disorders, Gliomas, Hepatitis C, HIV, Hypertension, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Pruritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sleep Apnea, and Tourette's Syndrome. A PDF version of NORML's Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000 — 2008 can be found here.

Current Political Situation

Cannabis is currently legal for medical use in 13 states. A full, up-to-date breakdown of state medical marijuana laws can be found at NORML National's Website. Under Federal law, all marijuana cultivation, distribution, possession and use is illegal; however, the Federal government does provide medical marijuana to about 5 patients, under the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program. The Compassionate IND Program was shut down in 1991 by the first Bush administration. A number of court cases have been decided on the state-vs-federal law division. For the most part, they've made it clear that:
  • States have the right to implement their own law
  • The Federal government has the right to prohibit cannabis because of the Commerce Clause
  • It's up to Congress to change the laws - the courts will not do it for them

This creates a huge discrepancy between states with legal medical marijuana, where Federal agents are free to raid state-legal patients and caregivers. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance. A full list of marijuana related decisions can be found at http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3411. MAPS has an excellent history of medical cannabis in PDF format.

Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana's lobbying efforts have produced a list of state Legislators who are for and against the bill.
Endorsements

A number of medical and professional organizations have endorsed medical marijuana. View The Quick Reference: Listing of Health Organizations By Position.
Immediate Legal Access

Research
Health Organizations Supporting Immediate Legal Access to Medical Marijuana

International and National Organizations
AIDS Action Council
AIDS Treatment News
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Medical Student Association
American Nurses Association
American Preventive Medical Association
American Public Health Association
American Society of Addiction Medicine
Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
Belgian Ministry of Health
British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report)
British Medical Association
Canadian AIDS Society
Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
French Ministry of Health
Health Canada
Kaiser Permanente
Lymphoma Foundation of America
The Montel Williams MS Foundation
Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
National Association for Public Health Policy
National Nurses Society on Addictions
Netherlands Ministry of Health
New England Journal of Medicine
New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes
Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council)

State and Local Organizations

Alaska Nurses Association
Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
California Academy of Family Physicians
California Nurses Association
California Pharmacists Association
Colorado Nurses Association
Connecticut Nurses Association
Florida Governor's Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS
Florida Medical Association
Hawaii Nurses Association
Illinois Nurses Association
Life Extension Foundation
Medical Society of the State of New York
Mississippi Nurses Association
New Jersey State Nurses Association
New Mexico Medical Society
New Mexico Nurses Association
New York County Medical Society
New York State Nurses Association
North Carolina Nurses Association
Rhode Island Medical Society
Rhode Island State Nurses Association
San Francisco Mayor's Summit on AIDS and HIV
San Francisco Medical Society
Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee
Virginia Nurses Association 
Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)
Wisconsin Nurses Association

Additional AIDS Organizations

The following organizations are signatories to a February 17, 1999 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to "make marijuana legally available ... to people living with AIDS."
AIDS Action Council
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS National Interfaith Network (Washington, DC)
AIDS Project Arizona
AIDS Project Los Angeles
Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
Boulder County AIDS Project (Boulder, CO)
Colorado AIDS Project
Center for AIDS Services (Oakland, CA)
Health Force: Women and Men Against AIDS (New York, NY)
Latino Commission on AIDS
Mobilization Against AIDS (San Francisco, CA)
Mothers Voices to End AIDS (New York, NY)
National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Association
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
Northwest AIDS Foundation
People of Color Against AIDS Network (Seattle, WA)
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)

Other Health Organizations
The following organizations are signatories to a June 2001 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to "allow people suffering from serious illnesses ... to apply to the federal government for special permission to use marijuana to treat their symptoms."
Addiction Treatment Alternatives
AIDS Treatment Initiatives (Atlanta, GA)
American Public Health Association
American Preventive Medical Association
Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (San Francisco, CA)
California Legislative Council for Older Americans
California Nurses Association
California Pharmacists Association
Embrace Life (Santa Cruz, CA)
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Hawaii Nurses Association
Hepatitis C Action and Advisory Coalition
Life Extension Foundation
Maine AIDS Alliance
Minnesota Nurses Association
Mississippi Nurses Association
National Association of People with AIDS
National Association for Public Health Policy
National Women's Health Network
Nebraska AIDS Project
New Mexico Nurses Association
New York City AIDS Housing Network
New York State Nurses Association
Ohio Patient Network
Okaloosa AIDS Support and Information Services (Fort Walton, FL)
Physicians for Social Responsibility - Oregon
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Virginia Nurses Association
Wisconsin Nurses Association

Health Organizations Supporting Medical Marijuana Research

SOURCES OF ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Cited in testimony provided by Andy Hoover, Legislative Director, ACLU of PA To House Health and Human Services Committee on December 2, 2009

National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine

"Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation. … For certain patients, such as the terminally ill or those with debilitating symptoms, the long-term risks [associated with smoking] are not of great concern. … [Therefore,] clinical trials of marijuana for medical purposes should be conducted. … There are patients with debilitating symptoms for whom smoked marijuana might provide relief. … Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications."  
Reference: "Marijuana as Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," National Academy Press: Washington, DC. 1999 

American College of Physicians

Support for further research and use of nonsmoked THC

Position 1: ACP supports programs and funding for rigorous scientific evaluation of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and the publication of such findings… Position 2: ACP encourages the use of nonsmoked forms of THC that have proven therapeutic value.

Reference: “Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians” 2008 

American Academy of Family Physicians

"The American Academy of Family Physicians [supports] the use of marijuana ... under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications."  
Reference:
1996-1997 AAFP Reference Manual - Selected Policies on Health Issues 

American Bar Association

"The American Bar Association 'supports federal legislation to establish a program under which [seriously ill] patients can be treated with marijuana under the supervision of a physician and under such controls adequate to prevent any diversion or other improper use of medicinal marijuana.'"

Reference: Robert D. Evans, Director of ABA Governmental Affairs Office, May 4, 1998 

American Public Health Association

“Recognizing that APHA adopted a resolution (7014) on Marijuana and the Law which urged federal and state drug laws to exclude marijuana from classification as a narcotic drug [36]; and Concluding that greater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use; therefore 1. Encourages research of the therapeutic properties of various cannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids; 2. Encourages research on alternative methods of administration to decrease the harmful effects related to smoking; 3. Urges the Administration and Congress to move expeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine where shown to be safe and effective and to immediately allow access to therapeutic cannabis through the Investigational New Drug Program.”

Reference: Resolution on Medical Marijuana by the American Public Health Association, November 1995 

Kaiser Permanente

“Medical guidelines regarding [marijuana's] prudent use should be established... Unfortunately, clinical research on potential therapeutic uses for marijuana has been difficult to accomplish in the United States, despite reasonable evidence for the efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and marijuana as anti-emetic and anti-glaucoma agents and the suggestive evidence for their efficacy in the treatment of other medical conditions, including AIDS."  
Reference: Kaiser Permanente study: "Marijuana Use and Mortality," American Journal of Public Health, April 1997 

Lymphoma Foundation of America

"Be it resolved that this organization urges Congress and the President to enact legislation to reschedule marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe smokable marijuana to patients in need; and, Be it further resolved that this organization urges the US Public Health Service to allow limited access to medicinal marijuana by promptly reopening the Investigational New Drug compassionate access program to new applicants."  
Reference:
Resolution approved by Lymphoma Foundation President Belita Cowan: January 20, 1997. 

National Association of Attorneys General 

National Nurses Society on Addictions

"The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses' Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine."  
Reference:
"Position Paper: Access to Therapeutic Cannabis," approved by the NNSA Board of Directors: May 1, 1995 

New England Journal of Medicine

"Federal authorities should rescind their prohibition of the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients and allow physicians to decide which patients to treat. The government should change marijuana's status from that of a Schedule I drug ... to that of a Schedule II drug ... and regulate it accordingly."  
Reference: Editorial by NEJM editor Dr. Jerome Kassirer, January 30, 1997



Sources:
1.) US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Res#rschWSMS" target="_blank">Wisconsin State Medical Society cheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22] (September 6, 1988), p. 57.
2.) Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).
3.) 'Marijuana Does Not Raise Lung Cancer Risk', Tuesday, May 23, 2006, By Salynn Boyles, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196678,00.html