In a meeting earlier this month, hundreds of physicians of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) held a meeting to enact new healthcare policies and resolutions concerning eight different topics of public healthcare. One of those resolutions concerned medical marijuana, and a push for the plant to be reclassified on the federal level to ultimately open doors for research. The MMS trade group has publicly stated before that cannabis should be reclassified, and this time their collective voice will be louder.
Currently, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that marijuana is seen as having no medical use in the United States. However, nearly half of the United States currently have some form of medical marijuana legislation, so this scheduling is contradictory. Marijuana being listed as a Schedule I drug ultimately blocks researchers from studying the plant and its uses.
Now that Massachusetts also has legalized medical marijuana, physicians want to protect themselves and their patients by conducting studies, and learning as much as possible about the plant. Therefor each individual member of the Massachusetts Medical Society agreed during the interim meeting to write lawmakers advocating for an end to marijuana prohibition. Rick Gulla, society spokesperson told NPR, “The research is fairly thin and it’s a puzzlement for physicians in terms of whether or not they should recommend it.”
photo credit: Coleen Danger