General statements in favor of medical marijuana
American Public Health Association Medical Marijuana Policy Statement. Jan. 1995: "The American Public Health Association: Encourages research of the therapeutic properties of various cannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids Encourages research on alternative methods of administration to decrease the harmful effects related to smoking; and Urges the Administration and Congress to move expeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine where shown to be safe and effective and to immediately allow access to therapeutic cannabis through the Investigational New Drug Program."
Ralph Nader, LLB, attorney, author, and consumer advocate, stated the following in an Oct. 8, 2004 interview with the Drug War Chronicle: "The criminal prosecution of patients for medical marijuana must end immediately, and marijuana must be treated as a medicine for the seriously ill... Research has shown marijuana to be a safe and effective medicine for controlling nausea associated with cancer therapy, reducing the eye pressure for patients with glaucoma, and reducing muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, para- and quadriplegia... Physicians must have the right to prescribe this drug to their patients without the fear of the federal government revoking their licenses, and doctor-patient privacy must be protected. The Drug Enforcement Administration should not be practicing medicine."
Philip Denney, MD, co-founder of a medical cannabis evaluation practice, stated the following in his Nov. 17, 2005 testimony to the Arkansas legislature in support of House Bill 1303, "An Act to Permit the Medical Use of Marijuana": "I have found in my study of these patients that cannabis is really a safe, effective and non-toxic alternative to many standard medications. There is no such thing as an overdose. We have seen very minimal problems with abuse or dependence, which at worst are equivalent to dependence on caffeine. While a substance may have some potential for misuse, in my opinion, that's a poor excuse to deny its use and benefit to everyone else."
Laurence O. McKinney, Managing Partner of McKinney & Company. ProCon.org. Sep. 18, 2007: "Yes, it should be an option. Cannabis has been used for millenia to potentiate other drugs, relax spasms, assist in meditative practices, and amplify sensation. A modern Ayurvedic text devotes fourteen pages to cannabis as a major medical plant with directions for use. Sri Lankans use cannabis based churnas every day.
Marijuana should be available to adults for medical purposes if for no other reason than it is harmless, often helpful, and this would initiate control, rather than eradication, of a useful medical plant. That being said, incinerating or heating a vegetable to obtain THC along with whatever comes along and inhaling all sorts of junk to get it is hardly scientific. But still, what's the beef? Nobody's being harmed and many are helped."
American College of Physicians (ACP). "Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana." Feb. 15, 2008: "Position 1: ACP supports programs and funding for rigorous scientific evaluation of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and the publication of such findings...
Position 2: ACP encourages the use of nonsmoked forms of THC that have proven therapeutic value...
Position 4: ACP urges review of marijuana's status as a schedule I controlled substance and its reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence regarding marijuana's safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions.
Position 5: ACP strongly supports exemption from federal criminal prosecution; civil liability; or professional sanctioning, such as loss of licensure or credentialing, for physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Similarly, ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws."
The Lymphoma Foundation of America. January 20, 1997: "Be it resolved that this organization urges Congress and the President to enact legislation to reschedule marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe smokable marijuana to patients in need; and, Be it further resolved that this organization urges the US Public Health Service to allow limited access to medicinal marijuana by promptly reopening the Investigational New Drug compassionate access program to new applicants."
Bill Richardson, MA, Governor of New Mexico. "Governor Bill Richardson Urges Action on Medical Marijuana Bill." Feb. 7, 2007: "I support a sensible, compassionate plan that makes medical marijuana available to patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. Such a plan must have proper safeguards and restrictions against abuse. I oppose any plan to decriminalize any drug that is currently illegal for recreational use. I also think it is irresponsible for any public official to publicly advocate decriminalization, because such actions send a terrible and contradictory message both to law enforcement and children who should be taught that illegal drugs are dangerous."
Drew Carey, Host of The Price is Right. Nov. 1, 2007 Reason.tv video titled "Drew Carey Defends Medical Marijuana": "I think it's clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana. People who need it should be able to get it -- safely and easily."
Christine Smith, 2008 Libertarian Candidate for US President, wrote in a Nov. 12, 2007 email to ProCon.org: "In my opinion government agencies such as the FDA, and DEA stand in the way to American's health with all their regulations. Regulations delay and prohibit pain-relieving drugs and potentially helpful pharmaceuticals/treatments from being available to the American people... Specifically... marijuana should be legal for any purpose. I will end the 'War on Drugs.' I will end the suffering, deaths, and injustice imposed upon Americans by this insane policy. By executive order I intend to pardon people who have harmed no other person and are now incarcerated due to non-violent drug offenses."
Jesse L. Steinfeld, MD, former US Surgeon General, stated the following in July 2003, as quoted in the Marijuana Policy Project's (MPP) "Medical Marijuana Endorsements and Statements of Support," available on www.mpp.org (accessed Jan. 27, 2009): "It [marijuana] should be an option for patients who have it recommended by knowledgeable physicians. I don't recommend it for recreational use."
Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota, Apr. 4, 2001: "Medical Marijuana? I fully support it, absolutely. Who is government to tell someone if they have AIDS or cancer, what they should be taking? To me, you've got a kid here with cancer, I don't give a damn if he smokes a joint."