philly norml marijuana pennsylvania philadelphia
Medical Marijuana Policy

Pennsylvania Medical Society To Reassess Opposition To Medical Marijuana

philly norml marijuana pennsylvania philadelphiaThe Pennsylvania Medical Society’s official position is that it opposes the use of medical marijuana in any form, for any reason. That is a stance that makes no sense, considering the growing amount of evidence that marijuana has medical value, in addition to the growing list of personal testimonies from patients who swear that medical marijuana helps them. Activists have been pushing very hard for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, and a lot of progress has been made lately. All of this has resulted in the Pennsylvania Medical Society choosing to reevaluate it’s opposition to medical marijuana. Per Trib Live:

The Pennsylvania Medical Society will reconsider its opposition to using marijuana for medical purposes, starting by talking to its statewide network of physicians.

The group opposes legislation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes that passed the state Senate this year. But next weekend at its annual House of Delegates meeting, members will consider whether to support marijuana use in certain circumstances.

In-state advocates of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes welcomed the potential change.

As the article points out, a recent Quinnipiac University poll found overwhelming evidence for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Patients want it. Non-patients want it. Science says marijuana is medicine. I’m confident that when the Pennsylvania Medical Society talks to its network of doctors, the doctors will do the right thing and admit that medical marijuana is safer than pharmaceuticals, and that patients should be allowed to use it when it works. Anything short of that, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society should be forced to register as a political organization, because clearly they would not be making their decisions based upon sound medical practices.

  • skoallio

    Whenever Kevin Sabet says every major medical organization opposes medical marijuana, this right here is what hes talking about. WHAT COULD BE DONE TO CHANGE THAT? EVERY TIME A MEDICAL ORGANIZATION SELLS OUT LIKE THIS, ALL IT DOES IS DISCREDIT MEDICAL MARIJUANA SUPPORTERS AND SUPPORT PROJECT SAM!! HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE MEDICAL ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT MEDICAL MARIJUANA?

    • saynotohypocrisy

      Those clowns can say whatever the hell they want about this herb. These organizations have utterly no credibility when it comes to cannabis. They blew it big time, for almost 80 years now, they’re just a bunch of alcohol supremacist bigots whose irrational hatred of cannabis has got the best of them, and they’ve led this country down a lost road.

    • IJR

      Calm down peckerwood.

  • Stel-1776

    The Pennsylvania Medical Society will reconsider its opposition to using marijuana for medical purposes, starting by talking to its statewide network of physicians.

    Perhaps they should talk to doctors outside the state, where it is actually legal and not so stigmatized??

    I have lost much respect for the PA Medical Society because of their one-sided perspective and blatant disregard of the truth. Their white paper regarding medical cannabis reads like fear invoking propaganda, not objective science.

    In their white paper, the PA Medical Society say they have concerns that carcinogens from smoked cannabis could cause cancer. They cite a 1990’s study by Dr. Donald Tashkin to support this. Why did they not also mention Tashkin’s more recent work showing that smoking cannabis is unlikely to cause lung cancer?? Further, PA does not intend to allow the smoking of medical cannabis.

    On the other hand, habitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function when assessed either cross-sectionally or longitudinally, except for possible increases in lung volumes and modest increases in airway resistance of unclear clinical significance.”
    “findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk for the development of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use, although evidence is mixed concerning possible carcinogenic risks of heavy, long-term use.”
    “In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.
    ” [Tashkin 2013]

    (data is lacking for the heaviest of users because so few use these amounts)

    Tashkin was also part of the team that did this study:

    Although using marijuana for>or =30 joint-years was positively associated in the crude analyses with each cancer type (except pharyngeal cancer), no positive associations were observed when adjusting for several confounders including cigarette smoking. The adjusted odds ratio estimate (and 95% confidence limits) for>or =60 versus 0 joint-years was 1.1 (0.56, 2.1) for oral cancer, 0.84 (0.28, 2.5) for laryngeal cancer, and 0.62 (0.32, 1.2) for lung cancer; the adjusted odds ratio estimate for>or =30 versus 0 joint-years was 0.57 (0.20, 1.6) for pharyngeal cancer, and 0.53 (0.22, 1.3) for esophageal cancer. No association was consistently monotonic across exposure categories, and restriction to subjects who never smoked cigarettes yielded similar findings.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results may have been affected by selection bias or error in measuring lifetime exposure and confounder histories; but they suggest that the association of these cancers with marijuana, even long-term or heavy use, is not strong and may be below practically detectable limits.
    ” [Hashibe 2006]

    Yes, a relative risk of 0.6 for lung cancer, there may be a protective effect, which is not entirely surprising given the many studies that show cannabinoids such as THC and CBD shrink tumors and reduce their ability to spread.


    The PA Med society also has concerns about teens using another’s medical cannabis (“diverted medical marijuana”). The fact is, as shown by five separate peer-reviewed studies published in respected journals, legalizing medical cannabis has not increased cannabis usage in teens. There is no mention of these objective, scientific studies in their white paper:

    Our findings, consistent with previous evidence, suggest that passage of state medical marijuana laws does not increase adolescent use of marijuana.” [Hasin 2015]

    This study did not find increases in adolescent marijuana use related to legalization of medical marijuana.” [Choo 2014]

    Our results suggest that, in the states assessed here, MMLs have not measurably affected adolescent marijuana use in the first few years after their enactment.” [Lynne-Landsman 2013]

    We find limited evidence of causal effects of MMLs on measures of reported marijuana use.” [Harper 2012]

    Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana and other substances among high school students.” [Anderson 2012]

    So, legal medical cannabis has not lead to increased teen use yet some now get medical cannabis. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because it means they are obtaining professionally produced product with quality controls, which reduces contamination, rather than product from a crime-ridden underground market that would not hesitate to sell hard drugs…as they were previously.

    The PA Medical Society has mentioned concerns that their reputation could be damaged if medical cannabis causes harm. Grow a backbone. Prescription drugs routinely cause much harm with serious side effects, millions of ER visits and well over 100,000 deaths every year in the U.S. alone (from proper medical use! [JAMA. 1998.]). If this is your measure of safety than cannabis far exceeds it with never a medically documented case of fatal overdose nor an increase in mortality in a large population, and this is with uncontrolled recreational use of a likely contaminated product (molds, fungus, pesticides, other drugs, etc). The irony here is, as shown by recent studies, that medical cannabis can actually significantly reduce the deaths by those prescription drugs. Remember “do no harm”.

    SOURCES:
    -Anderson et al. Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use. IZA 2012.
    -Choo et al. The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Legislation on Adolescent Marijuana Use. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2014.
    -Harper et al. Do medical marijuana laws increase marijuana use? Replication study and extension. Ann Epidemiol. 2012.
    -Hashibe et al. Marijuana use and the risk of lung and upper aerodigestive tract cancers: results of a population-based case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006.
    -Hasin et al. Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the USA from 1991 to 2014: results from annual, repeated cross-sectional surveys. The Lancet. 2015.
    -Lazarou et al. Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. JAMA. 1998.
    -Lynne-Landsman et al. Effects of state medical marijuana laws on adolescent marijuana use. Am J Public Health. 2013.
    -Tashkin DP. Effects of marijuana smoking on the lung. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013. Review.

    • PhDScientist

      Its good to see you commenting here.
      Please do whatever you can to help the national movement to get as many people as possible to call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111, every day, to ask that Marijuana be removed from Schedule 1.
      It breaks my heart to know that so much pain, suffering and death of Americas, including American Children, is being caused by bad policies and bad laws.

    • jimheffner

      Nice work and well said.

  • justin thomas

    dare u give me a number a place where I can tell u facts lighterly throwing booklet after booklet paper after paper of study’s and medical breakthroughs for people that normal medication fale or side effects or wors then what they help

  • justin thomas

    and every medical organization wants it in pa hell they want in front of the cancel and pleaded for there patents and that went no were

  • Sean

    Pennsylvania Quack Society.

  • PhDScientist

    Every Physician should join with Dr. Sanjay Gupta in calling for an end to Prohibition of Marijuana and to making sure that Physicians in all 50 states have the right to prescribe Medical Marijuana to their patients on the same basis as every other medication.

    Marijuana is a true “Wonder Drug”, especially for Cancer patients undergoing Chemotherapy, and a life saving medication for Children with Dravet’s Syndrome.

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta said it best —

    “We should legalize Marijuana. We should do it nationally. And we should do it now!”

  • PhDScientist

    Actually, the AMA, ASCO, and every other medical society wants Marijuana taken off of Schedule 1 and for Physicians to be able to prescribe it on the same basis as every other medication.

    82% of Oncologists want to be able to prescribe it to their Cancer patients.

    85% of Americans want it legalized for Medical purposes.

    We need action at the federal level, now.

    • saynotohypocrisy

      The AMA doesn’t seem to be doing much to get marijuana rescheduled though. If they had the sense of urgency you do, I think this pathetic claim that cannabis isn’t medicine would have been gone from our laws long ago.

  • PhDScientist

    For everyone working to get Medical Marijuana removed from Schedule 1, a simple request — work harder :-)
    America’s Cancer patients, and American Children with Seizures can’t wait.