Feds issue guidance on medical marijuana

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

New federal guidelines specify that prosecutors should not target suppliers or users of medical marijuana if they are compliant with state law.

According to The Associated Press:

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

Thirteen states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Maryland laws provide for reduced penalties for the use of medical marijuana.

medical-marijuana
Photo by Neeta_Lind via Flickr

The federal government is still expected to prosecute people who are using medical marijuana as a cover for other illegal activities, such as those involving a firearm, sales to minors and money laundering.

The New York Times explains that “Advocates of medical marijuana say it can reduce chronic pain, nausea and additional symptoms associated with cancer and other serious illnesses.”

The Sacramento Bee reports that advocates are wary because the policy memo is vague and the “oversight of marijuana dispensaries remains a hodgepodge of local regulations.” In California, for example, no agency is responsible for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, giving local officials leeway in how to deal with them.

Recent journal articles on medical marijuana

Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Pain.
Martín-Sánchez E, Furukawa TA, Taylor J, Martin JL.
Pain Med. 2009 Sep 1. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 19732371 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Medical marijuana: the conflict between scientific evidence and political ideology. Part one of two.
Cohen PJ.
J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2009;23(1):4-25. Review.
PMID: 19296351 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Medical marijuana: the conflict between scientific evidence and political ideology. Part two of two.
Cohen PJ.
J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2009;23(2):120-40. Review.
PMID: 19492213 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

The debate about marijuana usage in transplant candidates: recent medical evidence on marijuana health effects.
Coffman KL.
Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2008 Apr;13(2):189-95. Review.
PMID: 18685302 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Cannabis and anxiety: a critical review of the evidence.
Crippa JA, Zuardi AW, Martín-Santos R, Bhattacharyya S, Atakan Z, McGuire P, Fusar-Poli P.
Hum Psychopharmacol. 2009 Oct;24(7):515-23.
PMID: 19693792 [PubMed – in process]

Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Pain.
Martín-Sánchez E, Furukawa TA, Taylor J, Martin JL.
Pain Med. 2009 Sep 1. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 19732371 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Tip sheet: Mining NLM databases: PubMed, Medline and more

1 thought on “Feds issue guidance on medical marijuana

  1. Pingback: Feds issue guidance on medical marijuana : Covering Health » Vermont, Island, Rhode, Washington, Maryland, Health » My 420 Friends WeedPress

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