Pediatricians Ask DEA to Reclassify Medical Marijuana

Pediatricians Ask DEA to Reclassify Medical Marijuana

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has asked the DEA to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug down to Schedule II. The AAP is also said that medical marijuana should be available for children suffering from severe, debilitating, or life-threatening conditions.

The update to the AAP’s 2008 position came this morning and urged the DEA to remove marijuana from it’s list of Schedule I substances, where marijuana is accompanied by heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. By definition, the Schedule I classification of drugs says that the drugs have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Furthermore, the DEA says, “Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.” This classification of marijuana has prevented years of medical research from taking place and now the AAP says it’s time for a change.

The rescheduling of marijuana would make it more available for doctors, researchers, and universities to study. The rescheduling of marijuana would be a huge leap forward for medical marijuana research, but in the eyes of the DEA, a Schedule II drug still has a “high potential for abuse…potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” The AAP is looks to be erring on the side of caution saying that they do not support the use of medical marijuana, but they think it’s time to start studying the efficacy of medical marijuana.

Additionally, the AAP says that they, “strongly support the decriminalization of marijuana use and encourage pediatricians to advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana.”

Seth Ammerman is a clinical professor in pediatrics at Stanford University and the coauthor of the AAP’s statement. Ammerman says, “Most people realize AAP advocacy is for the well-being of children. As pediatricians, we’re into prevention and early intervention. So having this voice will be important. We’re advocating for the kids and if it leads to research that establishes a benefit – whoever conducts the research – then what we’re doing could help improve pediatric care.”

Last February the Epilepsy Foundation also called for reclassification of marijuana to a lesser schedule. As more respected and influential organizations role out their support for the reclassification of marijuana, it seems to be only a matter of time before the DEA and the Obama administration acknowledge the hurdles that that they are creating for medical marijuana research.

Illinois Families Having Trouble With Medical Marijuana Doctor Approvals

Illinois Families Having Trouble With Medical Marijuana Doctor Approvals

The introduction of Illinois medical marijuana program, and recent news of favorable changes to laws which make it easier for children suffering from debilitating medical conditions to access medical marijuana, may have given some people the impression that all loose ends were tied. The recent legislation allows for qualifying patients under the age of 18 to begin using medical marijuana on January 1, 2015. New information from some Illinois families paints a different picture.

Up until a week ago patients of the Illinois medical marijuana program were only required to have one doctor’s approval. With recent changes made to the law, all patients now require approval from their main physician and a second doctor. While this measure could cut down on fraud and prevent a small amount of doctors from filling nearly every prescription, the regulations are also proving to be a hurdle for patients with qualifying conditions. It has proven to be difficult to obtain the required physician recommendations for medical marijuana.

One such patient, Brady Blanco (pictured above) suffers from severe night seizures. Brady’s treatment program requires him to take 24 pills each day. He must sleep on an inflatable mattress to prevent injury. Like many other families across the country, if the Blanco family is not able to get the treatment they desire in Illinois, they have plans to travel to a more friendly region for treatment like Colorado.

“I get calls everyday. So far, I have not found any doctors who will prescribe.”

According to the Epilepsy Foundation in Rockford, Illinois finding even one doctor to approve patient conditions, has not been easy. Area doctors cite a lack of research in the region as the main reason making them hesitant to approve marijuana prescriptions. This has put several of the foundation’s members in quite a bind.

“They quit calling back because I keep saying we haven’t found anyone yet, we are working on it. But I get calls everyday. So far, I have not found any doctors who will prescribe,” stated Epilepsy Foundation Director of Client Services, Barbara Vern-Lau.

Photo Credit: WREX

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']