Scientific data, standards put to rest the notion that medical marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical value

Washington, D.C. -- Patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is hosting a Google Hangout today at 5:30pm PT (8:30pm ET) with a panel of leading medical and scientific experts to discuss by video the new cannabis monograph from the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), an authoritative compendium of scientific data, including long-awaited standards for the plant's identity, purity, quality, and botanical properties.

What: Google Hangout video discussion with experts on the significance of the recently released Cannabis monograph, followed by a Q&A
When: Today, Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:30pm PT (8:30pm ET)
Where: Go to to join the Google Hangout, which is open to the public.

Featuring: Several authors of the cannabis monograph, including American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Executive Director Roy Upton, RH, DAyu; University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Lyle Craker, PhD; and cannabis researchers Dr. Michelle Sexton, ND, and Dr. Jahan Marcu, PhD.

"Cannabis should no longer be considered a dangerous drug with no medical value," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer, who will be moderating today's Google Hangout. "As an herbal medicine, cannabis can be better understood and its benefits more widely realized," continued Sherer. "Finally, patients and doctors have a set of standards that can replace the federal government's outdated and harmful approach to medical marijuana."

Yesterday, the AHP released the first installation of a two-part cannabis monograph that classifies cannabis as a botanical medicine, alongside many other widely accepted Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Written and reviewed by the world's leading experts, the monograph provides a foundation for health care professionals to integrate cannabis therapy into their practices on the basis of a full scientific understanding of the plant, its constituent components, and its biologic effects.

The first cannabis monograph was introduced in the 3rd edition of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1851, where it remained until the 12th edition in 1942, making the new AHP monograph the first of its kind in more than 70 years. Cannabis medicines were produced by Eli Lilly and other American pharmaceutical companies until the federal Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 sharply reduced U.S. cannabis production and prescriptions.

AHP began development of a Cannabis monograph in 2011 in part because of a need for validated standards to guide laboratory analysis for quality control of cannabis and related products. In fact, Massachusetts and Washington State will use the Cannabis monograph to help them implement their recently adopted state laws. Patients, providers, and regulators will also benefit from proven testing standards that can quantify the key chemical compounds that are tied to the plant's therapeutic effects, as well as identify potentially harmful pesticides, metals, and microbes.

Further information:
Cannabis monograph (Abridged version):
FAQ for cannabis monograph:

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