The United States’ new Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murhty, though surprised by the question, acknowledged “marijuana can be helpful” during a recent segment of CBS This Morning. Dr. Muhty appeared on the show to speak about the safety of the measles vaccine, and at the last minute, one show host took the opportunity say,
“I wanted to get you on the record about whether you support the legalization of marijuana and what concerns do you have?”
The position of the Surgeon General serves to be the nation’s chief spokesman on public health issues, so his opinion on the matter will influence the opinions of millions of people throughout the United States.
Although Dr. Murthy did not endorse the legalization or recreational use, he did admit that the medicinal uses of the cannabis plant should be explored further.
“We’ll have to see what the science tells us about the efficacy of marijuana. And I think we are going to get a lot more data on that. We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms that marijuana can be helpful.”
Surgeon General Murthy continued,
“I think that we have to use that data to drive policy making, and I am very interested to see where that data takes us.”
With the legalization of medical marijuana being approved in nearly half of the United States, it is becoming more and more difficult for anyone to ignore the medicinal benefits that millions of patients are experiencing from using cannabis to treat a variety of different conditions.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recently called for marijuana to be rescheduled from its current classification as a Schedule I substance, down to a Schedule II so that scientists can finally have access to conduct research and studies. The Schedule I classification describes the included substances as having “no accepted medical benefit in the United States.” That simply is not the case for cannabis.
Although we have years of catching up to do on terms of researching the cannabis plant and it’s medicinal uses, enough evidence has been presented to prove that the topic is at least worth exploring further.
However, in response to Dr. Murthy’s statements on his television debut, the Department of Health and Human Services released the statement below, which almost seems to ignore something that really cannot be swept under the Federal rug for much longer because fewer and fewer Americans continue to see the world from behind Reefer Madness colored glasses.
“Marijuana policy — and all public health policies — should be driven by science. I believe that marijuana should be subjected to the same, rigorous clinical trials and scientific scrutiny that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applies to all new medications. The Federal Government has and continues to fund research on possible health benefits of marijuana and its components. While clinical trials for certain components of marijuana appear promising for some medical conditions, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the standards for safe and effective medicine for any condition to date.”
photo credit: Washington Times