During the annual meeting of the California Medical Association in Anaheim on Friday, the trustees of the state’s largest group of doctors adopted a position that supported the legalization of pot, despite the fact that the physicians themselves still find the medical value of marijuana questionable.
With this move, the California Medical Association became the first such organization to call for the legalization of pot.
The doctors have decided to take the position due to an increasing frustration over the medical marijuana law, which allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes, provided that patients have a doctor’s recommendation.
The law, according to policy author Dr. Donald Lyman, has placed doctors in an “untenable situation,” as it is left to them to make the decision to recommend a substance that is considered illegal under federal law.
Dr. Lyman shared: “It’s an uncomfortable position for doctors… It is an open question whether cannabis is useful or not. That question can only be answered once it is legalized and more research is done. Then, and only then, can we know what it is useful for.”
The California Medical Association acknowledges that marijuana use has associated health risks, and their proposal suggests that it be regulated in the same manner that alcohol and tobacco are regulated.
The position taken by the group, however, drew adverse reactions from certain people. John Lovell, spokesman for the California Police Chiefs Association, shared: “I wonder what they’re smoking… Given everything that we know about the physiological impacts of marijuana — how it affects young brains, the number of accidents associated with driving under the influence — it’s just an unbelievably irresponsible position.”