The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report today acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for marijuana as a medicine; especially in treating chronic pain. The report sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to cannabis research, and denounced “the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance” under federal law.
“The National Academy of Science’s conclusions that marijuana possesses established therapeutic utility for certain patients and that it possesses an acceptable safety profile when compared to those of other medications or recreational intoxicants are not surprising”, says Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “This evidence has been available for some time, yet for decades marijuana policy in this country has largely been driven by rhetoric and emotion, not science and evidence.”
Armentano continues; “A search on PubMed, the repository for all peer-reviewed scientific papers, using the term ‘marijuana’ yields over 24,000 scientific papers referencing the plant or its biologically active constituents — a far greater body of literature than exists for commonly consumed conventional drugs like Tylenol, ibuprofen, or hydrocodone. Further, unlike modern pharmaceuticals, cannabis possesses an extensive history of human use dating back thousands of years, thus providing society with ample empirical evidence as to its relative safety and efficacy.”
The report marks the first time since 1999 that the National Academy of Sciences has addressed issues surrounding cannabis and health. Authors reviewed over 10,000 scientific abstracts in their preparation of the new report.
Click here for the full report.