Prominent individuals and scientific organizations have weighed in on the topic of marijuana for decades.
“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care. Francis Young, [DEA Administrative Law Judge - 1988]”
With respect to medical marijuana, you know I think that we have had a lot of rhetoric and the federal government has been very intent upon trying to prevent states from being able to offer that as an option for people who are in pain. I think we should be doing medical research on this. We ought to find what are the elements that claim to be existing in marijuana that might help people who are suffering from cancer and nausea-related treatments. We ought to find that out. I don’t think we should decriminalize it, but we ought to do research into what, if any, medical benefits it has.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, JD, US Secretary of State and former US Senator (D-NY)
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.”
Joycelyn Elders, MD, Former US Surgeon General
“Cannabis is almost certainly a useful treatment for at least some patients with several different diagnoses, and ought to be so recognized by the FDA and therefore sold lawfully at pharmacies under physicians’ prescription. I keep hoping that the National Institute on Drug Abuse will relax the policy which has effectively prevented researchers from acquiring cannabis to use in clinical research, and that the medical marijuana advocates will devote some tiny fraction of their lititigation-and-petitioning budget to the medical research that could take this issue off the table politically.”
Mark A.R. Kleiman, PhD, Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA School of Public Affairs
“The question is not whether marijuana is better than existing medication. For many medical conditions, there are numerous medications available, some of which work better in some patients and some which work better in others. Having the maximum number of effective medications available allows physicians to deliver the best possible medical care to individual
Lynn Zimmer, PhD, former Professor Emeritus at the Queens College, City University, New York (CUNY), and John P. Morgan, MD, Medical Professor Emeritus at CUNY Medical School, from their 1997 book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts
“Ultimately, the issue is not about laws, science or politics, but sick patients. Making no distinction between individuals circumstances of use, the war on drugs has also become a war on suffering people. Legislators are not health care professionals and patients are not criminals, yet health and law become entwined in a needlessly cruel and sometimes deadly dance… I sincerely hope our work will illuminate the irrational injustice of medical marijuana prohibition…”
Christopher Largen and George McMahon, from their 2003 book Prescription Pot: A Leading Advocate’s Heroic Battle to Legalize Medical Marijuana