The California Medical Association (CMA), the state’s largest group of doctors, have called for the legalization of pot, saying it will pave the way for the drug to be taxed and regulated by the government. It will also open doors for scientists to further study the drug and perhaps identify more benefits of the weed.
CMA president Dr. James T. Hay says their group only wants to have a better understanding of the risks and benefits involved when they treat their patients using cannabis. The group labels the government’s move to keep marijuana illegal as a “failed public health policy.”
The limited information available on pot does not help the doctors when their patients seek their attention on medical marijuana issues. According to the CMA, they want to be able to serve their patients better, and understanding the drug will enable them to give the proper information and advice to their clients.
CMA is the first medical organization to support the legalization of marijuana. It has 35,000 doctor-members.
But as expected, the CMA’s decision to favor pot legalization immediately gained criticism and was strongly condemned by the California Police Chiefs Association.
Spokesman John Lovell said: “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.”
At present, the federal government has placed marijuana in the category similar to heroin, with no medical value and still illegal for prescription.