The Medical Value of Marijuana
Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug because it has no accepted medical value and has a high potential for addiction. There is no scientifically documented benefit for the use of crude marijuana for any medical purpose. In fact, crude smoked marijuana has been rejected by major reputable national medical associations in the country including the American Medical Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the American Cancer Society.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve of the use of smoked marijuana medical purposes and its use is, therefore, unregulated. This has significant implications for patient care since there are too many health risks associated with such use. Past evaluations by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the FDA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), found no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use.
Similar to the poppy plant, there are components of the marijuana plant that have medical potential. In fact there are cannabis-based medications already approved by the FDA and currently prescribed for use under doctor supervision. Several other products are in different stages of the approval process. These products are developed from extracts of specific components of marijuana similar to how opioids are extracts from opium. Marijuana should not be exempt from the FDA approval process. Consumers rely on the rigorous process for efficacy and protection.