Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Doctors Pressure Government to Greenlight Medical Marijuana

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.


One year ago, Los Angeles County received the distinction of being number one in the nation for the amount of medical marijuana dispensaries in the country, with close to 50 in operation.

Recently, picking up your prescribed pot got theoretically easier with the launching of the world's first marijuana vending machines here in the City of Angels, which is causing international waves from objectors who cast doubt on the therapeutic validity of the Schedule 1 drug.

Now, the country's largest organization of doctors and internal medicine, The American College of Physicians (ACP) has released a position paper calling for an easement federal law regarding the classification and distribution of pot for medical purposes.

Support for LAist comes from

The paper asks for "protection of both doctors and patients from criminal and civil penalties in states that have adopted medical-marijuana laws," according to today's LA Times.

Although 12 states, including California, have legalized marijuana, federal law still dominates, and DEA raids continue to take place on local dispensaries, like the one LAist photographed in July 2007.

The ACP claims their scientific research smashes the commonly held beliefs that marijuana is ineffective medically, and that the mainstream medical community shuns its use. Furthermore, they endorse "the use of non-smoked forms of cannabis as well as further research to identify the illnesses best treated with cannabis and the proper dosages for specific conditions."

They are urging that the drug be dropped from its ranking as a Schedule 1 drug, and state in their paper that they believe "the science on medical marijuana should not be obscured or hindered by the debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana for general use."

The government, however, is expected to remain unconvinced, and unresponsive. While the country's most respected medical collective, the American Medical Association (AMA), continues to ask for more research, they do not support the declassification of marijuana; the ACP hopes to persuade the AMA otherwise. They also hope to put pressure on the government--particularly now, when all eyes are on the politicians who are positioned to assume the White House, and bring about change.

Photo of a streetlight in Bogota by aforero via Flickr