Background: Between 1840 and 1900, European and American medical journals published more than 100 articles on the therapeutic use of cannabis. In the early 1900s, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly produced whole plant cannabis extract for sale to patients whose physicians recommended it. Today, new studies are being published in peer-reviewed journals that demonstrate cannabis has medical value in treating patients with serious illnesses such as AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and chronic pain. The U.S. National Library of Medicine includes more than 6,500 published scientific articles on medical applications for cannabis. Although the federal government continues to ignore the medical efficacy of cannabis, many of the isolated compounds found in the cannabis plant are being researched and used medically. In fact, Nabilone and Dronabinol, which are isolated cannabis compounds, are currently prescribed and sold for medical use in the United States.

Findings: Numerous controlled clinical studies have confirmed cannabis's therapeutic benefit in relieving an array of symptoms for people living with Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Hepatitis, Arthritis, and Chronic Pain, among many other conditions. In addition, in February 2010, the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) presented a report to the California legislature summarizing the findings of 10 years of research on cannabis and cannabinoids. As a result of their research, the CMCR presented evidence that cannabis is a promising treatment in selected pain syndromes caused by injury or diseases of the nervous system, and for painful muscle spasticity due to multiple sclerosis.

Position: Clinical research affirms that cannabis can safely and effectively alleviate symptoms of serious and chronic medical conditions.