A Few Deep Breaths

December 09, 2004

, Austin Chronicle

Eighty percent of Americans think adults should be able to use cannabis legally for medical purposes.

In spite of the established medical value of cannabis, doctors are currently permitted to prescribe cocaine and morphine – but not cannabis.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 established five categories, or 'schedules,' into which all illicit and prescription drugs were to be placed, depending on their dangers and benefits. Cannabis was placed in Schedule I, with the toughest restrictions, without relying on scientific studies.

Organizations that have endorsed medical access to cannabis include:

The Institute of Medicine

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Bar Association

American Public Health Association

American Society of Addiction Medicine

AIDS Action Council

California Academy of Family Physicians

California Medical Association

California Nurses Association

California Pharmacists Association

California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church

Consumer Reports magazine

Kaiser Permanente

The American Union of Hebrew Congregations

Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, any person can be imprisoned for up to one year for possession of one cannabis cigarette, and imprisoned for up to five years for growing a single cannabis plant, regardless of whether it is for medical use.



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