Medical Marijuana
Medical Organizations Endorsing Marijuana

Endorsing the use of Medical Marijuana

Telling Teens the Truth about Marijuana

The following organizations have endorsed the use of Marijuana for medical purposes. This list was swiped from NORML.


AIDS Action Council
DATE: November 1996
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "[The] AIDS Action Council supports the elimination of federal restrictions that bar doctors from prescribing marijuana for medical use by individuals with HIV/AIDS. ... [The] AIDS Action Council supports reopeni ng the U.S. Public Health Service’s Investigational New Drug Compassionate Access [Compassionate IND] program to provide access to medical-use marijuana for greater numbers of qualified patients.
* REFERENCE: "Resolution in Support of Access to Medical-Use Marijuana," adopted by the Public Policy Committee of AIDS Action Council: November 15, 1996

AIDS Treatment News
DATE: January 1998
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "The scientific case for medical [marijuana] use keeps growing stronger. Far more dangerous psychoactive drugs, like morphine, are successfully allowed in medical use. Somehow marijuana has become a symbolic or political hard line to be maintained by anti-drug believers regardless of human cost. The costs will mount until the public can organize itself to insist that those who urgently need this medicine can obtain and use it legally."
* REFERENCE: AIDS Treatment News, #287, January 23, 1998

American Academy of Family Physicians
DATE: 1995
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "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 Cancer Society
DATE: July 1997
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "[California Senate Bill] 535 focuses on medical marijuana research. [The] American Cancer Society ... supports S.B. 535 because it is consistent with our long-held position of supporting research of any agent or tech nique for which there may be evidence of a therapeutic advantage."
* REFERENCE: letter from ACS to California State Senator John Vasconcellos (July 24, 1997)

American Medical Association (AMA)
DATE: December 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of a physicians' right to discuss marijuana therapy with a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The AMA believes that effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subje ct either party to criminal sanctions."
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The AMA recommend that adequate and well-controlled studies of smoked marijuana be conducted in patients who have serious conditions for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence suggests possible efficacy in cluding AIDS wasting syndrome, sever acute or delayed emesis induced by chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, dystonia, and neuropathic pain."
* REFERENCE: Council on Scientific Affairs Report #10: Medical Marijuana

American Medical Student Association
DATE: March 1993
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The American Medical Student Association strongly urges the United States Government ... to meet the treatment needs of currently ill Americans by restoring the Compassionate IND [Investigational New Drug] program for m edical marijuana, and ... reschedule marijuana to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act, and ... end the medical prohibition against marijuana."
* REFERENCE: AMSA House of Delegates Resolution #12

American Preventive Medical Association
DATE: December 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "Marijuana should be available for appropriate medicinal purposes, when such use is in accordance with state law, and that physicians who recommend and prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes in states where such use is legal, should not be censured, harassed, prosecuted or otherwise penalized by the federal government."
* REFERENCE: "Medicinal Use of Marijuana" policy statement: December 8, 1997

American Public Health Association
DATE: November 1994
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "Understanding that marijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision ... [and] concluding that greater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible ris ks of medicinal use; therefore [the APHA] encourages research of the therapeutic properties of various cannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids, and ... urges the Administration and Congress to move expeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine."
* REFERENCE: Resolution #9513: "Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis"

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
DATE: April 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "Approved medical uses for marijuana or [THC] for treatment of glaucoma, illnesses associated with wasting such as AIDS, the emesis associated with chemotherapy, or other uses should be carefully controlled. The drug s hould be administered only under the supervision of a knowledgeable physician. Research on marijuana, including both basic science and applied clinical studies, should receive increased funding and appropriate access to marijuana for study."
* POSITION: endorsement of physicians right to discuss marijuana therapy with a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "Physicians should be free to discuss the risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana."
* REFERENCE: ASAM "Statement on Marijuana," passed by ASAM Board of Directors: April 16, 1997

Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
DATE: March 1994
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "First, there is good evidence that THC is an effective anti-emetic agent for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. ... Second, there is reasonable evidence for the potential efficacy of THC and marijuana in the tre atment of glaucoma, especially in cases which have proved resistant to existing anti-glaucoma agents. Further research is ... required, but this should not prevent its use under medical supervision in poorly controlled cases. ... Third, there is suffici ent suggestive evidence of the potential usefulness of various cannabinoids as analgesic, anti asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-convulsant agents to warrant basic pharmacological and experimental investigation and ... clinical research into their effectiveness.

"... Despite the positive appraisal of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids ..., they have not been widely used. ... Part of the reason for this is that research on the therapeutic use of these compounds has become a casualty of the debate in th e United States about the legal status of cannabis. ... As a community we do not allow this type of thinking to deny the use of opiates for analgesia. Nor should it be used to deny access to any therapeutic uses of cannabinoid derivatives that may be re vealed by pharmacological research."
* REFERENCE: Australian National Task Force on Cannabis: "The health and psychological consequences of cannabis use"


Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights
DATE: January 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of a physician's right to recommend marijuana therapy to a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: N/A
* REFERENCE: plaintiff in Conant, et al. v McCaffrey, et al.: a class action suit filed in federal court in San Francisco on January 14, 1997, seeking an injunction blocking federal officials from taking any punitive action against physi cians who recommend the use of marijuana to their patients

Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee
DATE: January 1996
* POSITION: legal access under a physician's supervision; prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "Being Alive has always supported a person's right to choose their own treatment modalities including ... efforts to legalize medical marijuana."
* REFERENCE: letter from Executive Director Gary Costa supporting the efforts of Californians for Compassionate Use (January 3, 1996)
DATE: January 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of physician's right to recommend marijuana therapy to a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: N/A
* REFERENCE: plaintiff in Conant, et al. V McCaffrey, et al. (See previous citation.)

British Medical Association
DATE: November 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access to active chemicals in marijuana; research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "Present evidence indicates that [cannabinoids] are remarkably safe drugs, with a side-effects profile superior to many drugs used for the same indications. ... [The BMA] will urge the government to] consider changing the Misuse of Drugs Act to allow the prescription of cannabinoids to patients with certain conditions causing distress that are not adequately controlled by existing treatments."
* POSITION: relaxation of present marijuana-law enforcement
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "While research is underway, the police, the courts, and other prosecuting authorities should be made aware of the medicinal reasons for the unlawful use of cannabis by those suffering from certain medical conditions for whom other drugs have proved ineffective."
* REFERENCE: BMA report: "Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis"

California Academy of Family Physicians
DATE: February 1994
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "[The CAFP] supports efforts to expedite access to cannabinoids for use under the direction of a physician."
* REFERENCE: position statement adopted by the Academy's Congress of Delegates: February 1994
DATE: August 1996
* POSITION: legal access under a physician's supervision
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "CAFP's support of the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative statute, Proposition 215, is in keeping with CAFP policy."
* REFERENCE: United Press International (UPI) News Service, August 8, 1996; January 8, 1998, letter to NORML from Communications Director Alison Barnsley outlining the CAFP's stance on medical marijuana
DATE: January 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of physician's right to recommend marijuana therapy to a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "CAFP's amicus support of the [Conant, et al. v McCaffrey] lawsuit is based on the narrow issue of the right of physicians to discuss any medical topics with their patients."
* REFERENCE: filed a "friend of the court" brief in Conant, et al. v McCaffrey, et al. (See previous citation.); January 8, 1998, letter to NORML

California Medical Association (CMA)
DATE: April 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of physician's right to discuss marijuana therapy with a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "[The] CMA oppose any governmental threats against physicians arising from [the] discussion of medical marijuana in the context of the established physicians-patient relationship."
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "The CMA urge that carefully designed, controlled clinical trials of the effectiveness of inhaled marijuana for medical indications be allowed to proceed immediately. ... The CMA immediately initiate efforts at the fed eral level to facilitate the availability of inhaled marijuana for use in conducting clinical research to determine the medical efficacy of marijuana."
* REFERENCE: CMA Resolution #107a-97: Medical Marijuana

California Nurses Association
DATE: September 1995
* POSITION: legal access under a physician's supervision
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "The California Nurses Association supports AB (Assembly Bill) 1529 which would eliminate California's prohibition against possessing marijuana or growing marijuana for individuals using marijuana for medical purposes. Many patients suffering from and receiving treatment for cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis receive relief from using marijuana. Marijuana helps patients with nausea, vomiting and muscle spasms where other medications are not effective. Cur rently, these patients must break the law to use marijuana to relieve their symptoms. This measure is a compassionate alternative for patients suffering from these diseases to obtain relief."
* REFERENCE: letter from CNA President Kurt Laumann, RN, to Gov. Pete Wilson (September 21, 1995)

California Society on Addiction Medicine (CSAM)
DATE: May 1997
* POSITION: federal rescheduling and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "CSAM supports controlled studies of the medical usefulness of marijuana, including all routes of administration, and especially supports studies on the therapeutic effects of the essential ingredients ... of cannabis s ativa. ... CSAM urges the DEA to remove cannabis from Schedule I and move it to an appropriate Schedule, below Schedule I as determined by what is known about its therapeutic benefit."
* REFERENCE: CSAM "Position on Medical Use of Marijuana in California" as it appeared in CSAM News, Spring 1997

Colorado Nurses Association
DATE: 1995
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "The Colorado Nurses Association recognize the therapeutic use of cannabis [and] support efforts to end federal policies which prohibit or unnecessarily restrict marijuana's legal availability for legitimate health care uses. ... Marijuana must be placed in a less restrictive Schedule and made available to patients who may benefit from its use."
* REFERENCE: Colorado Nurses Association 1995 Conventional Directory and Book of Reports

Congress of Nursing Practice
DATE: May 1996
* POSITION: instructing RN's on medical marijuana; research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The Congress of Nursing Practice ... support education for RN's regarding current evidence based therapeutic uses of cannabis, [and] support investigation of therapeutic efficacy of cannabis in controlled trials."
* REFERENCE: Motion passed by the CNP: May 31, 1996

Federation of American Scientists
DATE: November 1994
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "Based on much evidence, from patients and doctors alike, on the superior effectiveness and safety of whole cannabis (marijuana) compared to other medications for many patients -- suffering from the nausea associated wi th chemotherapy, the wasting syndrome of AIDS, and the symptoms of other illnesses -- and based on the lack of incentives for profit-seeking corporations to validate the effectiveness of a medicine that cannot be patented, we hereby petition the Executive Branch and Congress to facilitate and expedite the research necessary to determine whether this substance should be licensed for medical use by seriously ill persons."
* REFERENCE: FAS Petition on Medical Marijuana

Florida Medical Association
DATE: June 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The FMA urge the state and federal governments and U.S. Public Health Service to open limited access to medical marijuana by reopening the investigational new drug [Compassionate IND] program to new applicants."
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The FMA shall urge Congress, the FDA, DEA and all other relevant governmental agencies to expedite unimpeded research into the therapeutic potential of smokable marijuana."
* REFERENCE: FMA Resolution #97-61

French Ministry of Health
DATE: December 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "Obviously, it should be possible to prescribe [cannabis.] For a doctor, that could be a real benefit."
* REFERENCE: statements of French Health Minister Bernard Kouchner: Independent on Sunday, December 7, 1997.

Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
DATE: May 1995
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "[We] support ... the authorization and implementation of clinical trials of marijuana for various aspects of AIDS treatment."
* REFERENCE: Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Policy Statement #066-95-104
DATE: February 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of a physician's right to recommend marijuana therapy to a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "The most essential aspects of productive patient physician relationships are trust, confidentiality, and truly informed consent for all potential therapies. ... We thus feel strongly that any threats of negative repercussions on physicians who in good faith discuss the use of marijuana for patients who might benefit from it are an inappropriate infringement of patient physician relations. We therefore urge most strongly that ... Physicians should not be subject to sanctions for conducting such good faith discussions."
* REFERENCE: "Medical Marijuana: A Plea For Science And Compassion," joint statement issued by The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and The San Francisco Medical Society

Health Canada
DATE: December 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "There is no problem, basically, with marijuana as a medicine. ... Marijuana is no different than morphine, no different than codeine, no different than Aspirin. There just has to be a process where were are able to s ay [doctors] have undertaken the right experiments and produced a result that shows the benefit is greater than the risk for the individual patients."
* REFERENCE: statements of Health Canada spokesman Dann Michols: Ottawa Citizen, December 19, 1997

Kaiser Permanente
DATE: April 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "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, despi te 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

Life Extension Foundation
DATE: March 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "Those of LEF's members who are resident in Arizona, California, Connecticut, and Virginia and suffer terminal illness and intractable pain are denied by the federal policy the opportunity to receive relief from med ical marijuana in accordance with state law."
* REFERENCE: Complaint for declaratory judgement and injunctive relief: Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw et al. v Barry McCaffrey et al. (See previous citation.)

Los Angeles County AIDS Commission
DATE: September 1996
* POSITION: legal access under a physician's supervision
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: N/A
* REFERENCE: Resolution # unavailable

Lymphoma Foundation of America
DATE: January 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: N/A
REFERENCE: Resolution # unavailable

Maine AIDS Alliance
DATE: December 1997
* POSITION: legal access under a physician's supervision
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: N/A
* REFERENCE: Bangor Daily, December 30, 1997

Marin (California) Medical Society
DATE: February 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of a physician's right to recommend marijuana therapy to a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: N/A
* REFERENCE: filed "friend of the court brief" in Conant, et al. vs. McCaffrey, et al. (See previous citation.)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana
DATE: August 1997
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "The scientific process should be allowed to evaluate the potential therapeutic effects of marijuana for certain disorders, dissociated from the societal debate over potential harmful effects of nonmedical marijuana use .

"... Marijuana looks promising enough to recommend that there be new controlled studies done. The indications in which varying levels of interest was expressed are the following: appetite stimulation/cachexia, nausea and vomiting following anti-c ancer therapy, neurological and movement disorders, analgesia, [and] glaucoma. Accordingly, the NIH should consider relevant administrative mechanisms to facilitate grant applications in each of these areas. Whether or not the NIH is the primary source of grant support for a proposed bona fide clinical research study, if that study meets U.S. regulatory standards ... protocol approval, ... the study should receive marijuana."
* REFERENCE: Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana: Report to the Director


National Nurses Society on Addictions
DATE: May 1995
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "Cannabis has been used medicinally throughout the world for centuries. ... As a medicine, cannabis has been found to be effective in a)reducing intraocular pressure in glaucoma, thus preventing blindness, b) reducing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, c) stimulating the appetite for AIDS patients suffering from the wasting syndrome, d) controlling spasticity associated with spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, e) increasing comfort for persons s uffering from chronic pain, and f) controlling seizures for persons suffering from seizure disorders.

"... As nurses, we have an obligation to advocate for optimal health care for all individuals. Medicine which enhances quality of life for persons suffering from life and sense-threatening illnesses should not be prohibited because some persons may d evelop a substance abuse and/or addiction problem;em to that medicine. Cannabis does have therapeutic value and has a wide margin of safety, and therefore practitioners should have the right to prescribe cannabis to patients when the potential benefits s urpasses the health risks.

"... 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. ... NNSA supports research regarding the various cannabinoids and combinations thereof, to determine the greatest therapeutic potential."
* REFERENCE: "Position Paper: Access to Therapeutic Cannabis," approved by the NNSA Board of Directors: May 1, 1995


New England Journal of Medicine
DATE: January 1997
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "The advanced stages of many illnesses and their treatments are often accompanied by intractable nausea, vomiting, or pain. Thousands of patients with cancer, AIDS, and other diseases report they have obtained striking relief from these devastating symptoms by smoking marijuana.

"...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 in accordingly."
* REFERENCE: Editorial by NEJM editor Dr. Jerome Kassirer, January 30, 1997


New Mexico State Board of Nursing
DATE: June 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of a RN's right to discuss marijuana therapy with a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: N/A
* Reference: transcript of minutes: NMSBN June 19, 1997 board meeting

New York State Nurses Association
DATE: June 1995
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "Marijuana has been found to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure and in reducing nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Marijuana has also been effective in stimulating the a ppetite of AIDS patients suffering from the wasting syndrome, controlling spasticity in spinal cord injury patients, and in controlling seizures for persons suffering from epilepsy and for persons with multiple sclerosis. Marijuana is remarkably non-toxi c.
"... The NYSNA Peer Assistance Committee agrees with the intent and content of the resolution ‘Legalizing Marijuana for Medical Purposes.'"
* REFERENCE: "Position Statement on Medicinal Marijuana," passed by the NYSNA Board of Directors: June 7, 1995

North Carolina Nurses Association
DATE: 1996
* POSITION: prescriptive access and research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "[The] NCNA urges the Administration and Congress 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 Investigatio nal New Drug [Compassionate IND] Program. NCNA also supports research of the therapeutic properties and combinations of the various cannabinoids and alternative methods of administration."
* REFERENCE: "Position Statement on Therapeutic Use of Cannabis," adopted by the NCNA: October 15, 1996

San Francisco Mayor's Summit on AIDS and HIV
DATE: January 1998
* POSITION: prescriptive access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENTS: "Marijuana must continue to be available to persons living with AIDS and HIV and other diseases who wish to use it for pain management, appetite stimulation and other medicinal purposes. "
* REFERENCE: "Mayor's Summit on AIDS & HIV," preliminary report released January 27, 1998

San Francisco Medical Society
DATE: August 1996
* POSITION: legal access under a physician's supervision
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The SFMS takes a support position on the California Medical Marijuana Initiative."
* POSITION: research
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "This support position also contains the provision that controlled, blinded studies be conducted to determine both the real efficacy of smoked marijuana and its relative benefits and risks compared to Marinol."
* REFERENCE: Motion passed by SFMS Board of Directors: August 8, 1996
DATE: February 1997
* POSITION: endorsement of a physician's right to recommend marijuana therapy to a patient
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT:"We ... feel strongly that any threats of negative repercussions on physicians who in good faith discuss the use of marijuana for patients who might benefit from it are an inappropriate infringement of patient physic ian relations. We therefore urge most strongly that ... Physicians should not be subject to sanctions for conducting such good faith discussions."
* REFERENCE: "Medical Marijuana: A Plea For Science And Compassion," joint statement issued by The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and The San Francisco Medical Society

Virginia Nurses Association
DATE: October 1994
* POSITION: prescription access
* SUPPORTING STATEMENT: "The Virginia Nurses Association support all reasonable efforts to end federal policies which prohibit or unnecessarily restrict marijuana's legal availability for legitimate medical uses; and be it Resolved That the Vir ginia Nurses Association provide education to the nurses of Virginia on the therapeutic use of marijuana and federal prohibition of its use; and be it Resolved That the Virginia Nurses Association encourage other health care provider organizations to supp ort medical access to marijuana."
* REFERENCE: Resolution passed by the VNA Delegate Assembly: October 7, 1994

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