AMA Council ‘Urges’ Association to Support Medical Marijuana as ‘Last-Resort’ Treatment
An American Medical Association council has "urged" the organization to endorse marijuana as "last-resort pain relief for seriously ill patients," such as those with AIDS-related conditions, the AP/Chicago Sun-Times reports. AMA policy opposes use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, but a report from the smaller council implores the group to support "compassionate use" of the drug while encouraging further research. How the "historically cautious group" will approach the issue at its five-day annual policy-planning meeting underway in Chicago "remains to be seen." Physicians for Social Responsibility Copresident Jimmy Hara said that the AMA is "seeking to attract new members" and therefore is "more than likely than ever to stick to middle ground," the AP/Sun-Times reports (AP/Chicago Sun-Times, 6/17).
Smoke Up Canada
Meanwhile, Canada will soon become one of the first countries to license marijuana growers who produce medical marijuana, the New York Times reports. The new policy, announced in April by the Canadian Health Department, states that hemp growers will be able to apply in July to the department for licenses to grow small amounts of marijuana for people with terminal illnesses or chronic diseases. In recent years, "more than 250" Canadians have secured permission from the government to use marijuana for medical reasons, and, according to the Times, "many more will qualify for the exemptions when the new regulations take effect" (DePalma, New York Times, 6/17).