[MMA News Now, March 20, 2014]
At its March 15 meeting, the MMA’s Board of Trustees voted not to support the current medical marijuana legislation working its way through the state Capitol.
"We don't have the evidence and the science to really say where it works well and where it doesn't, and we don't have a way of knowing at this point in time what the availability of the drug is and the product that's being used," Board Chair Dave Thorson, M.D., told Minnesota Public Radio after the board’s decision.
In addition to calling for more studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids, the board urged the drug’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance to be reviewed with the goal of conducting clinical and public health research and developing cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods.
Until marijuana is FDA-approved and is no longer classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, the MMA’s leaders said they cannot support legislation intended to involve physicians in certifying, authorizing or directing patients toward medicinal marijuana outside of scientific clinical trials.
As part of its deliberation, the board took into consideration the results of an email survey of nearly 900 physicians from across the state. Forty-six percent opposed the legislation, 34 percent supported it, 9 percent asked the MMA not to take a stand, and 10 percent answered that they didn’t know. Forty-four percent of respondents also said they favored the FDA reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug. Thirty-six percent were opposed to reclassifying and 18 percent didn’t know.