american academy of pediatrics marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition Medical Marijuana Policy

American Academy Of Pediatrics Calls For Rescheduling Marijuana

american academy of pediatrics marijuanaBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

An updated policy statement issued today by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls for the rescheduling of the cannabis plant under federal law to better facilitate clinical trial research and to promote the plant’s eventual pharmaceutical development.

The new position statement resolves: “The AAP strongly supports research and development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and supports a review of policies promoting research on the medical use of these compounds. The AAP recommends changing marijuana from a Drug Enforcement Administration schedule I (controlled substance) to a Schedule II drug to facilitate this (clinical) research.”

By definition, schedule I controlled substances are defined as possessing no “accepted medical use.” Clinical protocols involving cannabis are strictly controlled and require authorization from various federal agencies, including DEA, FDA, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – the latter of which is designated under federal law as the sole provider of cannabis and/or organic cannabinoids for research purposes.

“A Schedule 1 listing means there’s no medical use or helpful indications, but we know that’s not true because there has been limited evidence showing [marijuana] may be helpful for certain conditions in adults,” said Dr. Seth Ammerman, who co-authored the new policy statement.

The newly amended AAP resolution also acknowledges that certain types of cannabinoid-therapy may provide benefits to adolescents, particularly those patient populations with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy and chronic seizures. It states, “The AAP recognizes that marijuana may currently be an option for cannabinoid administration for children with life-limiting or severely debilitating conditions and for whom current therapies are inadequate.”

Last year the Epilepsy Foundation of America issued a similar resolution, citing preclinical data and observational reports of the potential therapeutic benefit of the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) in pediatric patients and calling for “an end to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into medical marijuana for epilepsy.”

Separate language in the AAP’s position statement also addresses the social use of the plant, affirming, “AAP strongly supports the decriminalization of marijuana use for both minors and young adults and encourages pediatricians to advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana.” By contrast, the statement acknowledges the group’s continued opposition to the legalization of marijuana, a policy change that it alleges poses “potential harm to children.”

Text of the amended AAP position paper is online here. A summary of resolutions issued by other medical and health organizations in regard to patient access to therapeutic cannabis is available on the NORML website here.

Source: NORML - make a donation

  • Silly Rabbit

    Now that solid support and well written ….. Keep fingers crossed!

  • johabell

    The information of this article is really useful for me. I liked it reading.

  • Johnny Bloomington

    Pharmaceutical went from fighting weed to trying to control the medical $ide. Schedule ll is still too restricted and gives pharma the market.

    • Jordan Shorette

      you make a good point but at least schedule two opens doors, that’s the most I think we can hope for out of our government.

      • We should consider it a start. Not the best we can hope for. And I’m going to assume you left off “for now”.

        No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes.

        • Jordan Shorette

          You assumed correctly but lets be realistic without monetary incentive our gov wouldnt think twice about it, no more taxed than toms is ideal but very very unlikely lol

          • Ten years ago legalization was unlikely. If activists make it their goal eventually government will follow.

          • Jordan Shorette

            good point

      • Johnny Bloomington

        It’s sad that our government is this inefficient and we don’t have enough money to vote.

    • wowFAD

      You’re absolutely correct. Schedule 2 is still 100% controlled by the NIDA, which is the lettered agency under the ONDCP that is chiefly responsible for blocking any/all clinical research that would show, conclusively, cannabis doesn’t belong in *any* of the CSA schedules.

      The rescheduling lawsuit that went to the DC Circuit Court in 2012 never had a prayer because the game is rigged against rescheduling. If you want to do a clinical study with cannabis, because it’s in Schedule 1, you have to go through an entity licensed to produce and distribute cannabis. The DEA is supposed to issue licenses that legally allow someone to produce/distribute Schedule 1 and 2 substances for clinical research. So far, the only license the DEA has ever given to produce/distribute cannabis was to the NIDA. Thus, the NIDA has a monopoly over all domestic clinical cannabis research thanks to the DEA, and in return, the NIDA ensures no research that would prove cannabis is safe and beneficial is ever conducted by controlling the only federally legal supply (at the University of Mississippi). Thus, the Schedule 1 classification of cannabis is maintained because the research that would prove the harmlessness of cannabis is systematically prevented from happening by the ONDCP through both the DEA and NIDA. That keeps the ONDCP’s annual budget of $25 billion perfectly secure, which funds both the DEA and NIDA. It boggles my mind how few people acknowledge the DEA isn’t funded through the DOJ…

      Honestly, the 2012 lawsuit should have anticipated the easy-out for the judges (the ONDCP rigged it this way for a reason) and aimed for a more reasonable goal, like stripping the DEA of the power to evaluate all rescheduling petitions and granting that power to a federal agency more qualified (whose budget doesn’t depend on controlled substances) like the NIH. The DEA had delayed the most recent petition for almost 11 years, eventually spurring the lawsuit. The defense told the judges about the monopoly and the DEA/NIDA insidiously rigged game, but the NIDA’s monopoly was insufficient justification to reschedule (by itself), and the judges were easily able to defer to the experts (the DEA) in the absence of clinical evidence.

      However, there was more than sufficient evidence to demonstrate the DEA has an unwillingness and/or inability to evaluate and respond to rescheduling petitions as well as plenty of evidence to demonstrate their clear conflict of interest in both enforcing and controlling that policy — that they have no business unilaterally obstructing our lesser-celebrated First Amendment right, which is the right to petition our government. Delaying a petition for 11 years is gross incompetence at best, and *unconstitutional* at worst. We could have nailed the DEA on a violation of the First Amendment rights of the petitioners and had the NIH evaluating a rescheduling petition two years ago. But the ASA’s legal team had to shoot for the moon and demand the court order rescheduling. Had we asked that the court strip the DEA of both their power to evaluate rescheduling petitions as well as their power to license producers of Schedule 1 and 2 substances (there’s got to be a law against monopolies in a capitalist society) we would have gotten at least ONE of those accomplished. Had we successfully removed either of those two lynch-pins in the ONDCP’s rigged game, we’d be mere months away from nationwide legalization after the whirlwind of research into the safety and benefits of cannabis finally happened in 2013 and 2014.

      In any case, my beef with the 2012 rescheduling case aside, if cannabis is moved to Schedule 3, the NIDA loses the monopoly that ultimately doomed the 2012 rescheduling case to failure. If cannabis just slides from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, the NIDA’s monopoly over clinical cannabis research is maintained. You still need a license from the DEA to produce and distribute Schedule 2 substances, which is the problem with the status-quo. Cannabis MUST be reclassified to Schedule 3 or lower. Otherwise, no research will happen. Schedule 2 is insufficient.

      • Thanks for that. Good analysis. Schedule 3 or lower.

  • Sinclair

    It’s amazing that we have all of these Agencies that represent doctors in all kinds of fields that want rescheduling and legalization people who I tryst more to make better choices for my health than some politicians personal agenda. It’s time for Americans to stand up and tell these policy makers that we are tired of this injustice. It is time to legalize with out prejudice now.

  • Todd