The 2002 Petition to Reschedule Cannabis (Marijuana)

Description of New Relevant Information


Accepted Medical Use in the United States

State laws
The acceptance of cannabis's medical use by eight states since 1996 and the experiences of patients, doctors, and state officials in these states establish marijuana's accepted medical use in the United States. More...

Medical professionals
Cannabis's accepted medical use in the United States is increasingly recognized by health care professionals and the medical community, including the Institute of Medicine. Several medical organizations support legal access to cannabis for medicinal purposes. A new medical journal released in 2001 focuses on the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids. National clinical conferences on the medicinal use of cannabis have been held in the United States in 2000 and 2002 and are scheduled to continue on a bi-annual basis.. Most importantly, data on the number of physicians currently recommending therapeutic marijuana use to their patients demonstrate its acceptance by the medical community in the United States. More...

Patients' experience and their confirmation by early studies
Following state laws that allow for the medical use of cannabis, an increasing number of patients have collected experience with cannabis. Many reported benefits from its use. Some of this experience has been confirmed in reports and clinical investigations or stimulated clinical research that confirmed these patients' experience on other patients suffering from the same disease. More...

Reviews of earlier clinical studies
Several scientific publications have reviewed evidence from research on the medicinal uses of cannabis indicating that cannabis in fact may offer benefits in the treatment of certain illnesses. More...

Basic research
The scientific understanding of the endogenous cannabinoid system consisting of specific cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) has considerably increased since 1995. It largely supports and helps explain many of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids in humans. More...

Clinical research
Results from clinical research demonstrate that both dronabinol and whole plant cannabis can offer a safe and effective treatment for the following illnesses: muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis, Tourette syndrome, chronic pain, nausea and vomiting in HIV/AIDS and cancer chemotherapy, loss of appetite from cancer, hyperactivity of the bladder in patients with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, and dyskinesia caused by levodopa in Parkinson's disease. More...

Route of administration.

Progress has been made in recent years in reducing the disadvantages of certain routes of cannabis administration, notably the slow onset of action with oral use and harm associated with the inhalation of combustion products when smoking cannabis. More...

Pharmaceutical industry.

The pharmaceutical industry is showing not only increasing interest in synthetic modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system, but also industry members are funding several clinical studies with cannabis whole plant extracts in Europe and Canada with the intention to develop approved cannabis based medicines. This indicates that therapeutic exploitation of natural cannabis will be economically sound. However the present Schedule I classification of cannabis and THC is an impediment to the pharmaceutical development of cannabinoid drugs becaused of the costly restrictions it places on research. More...

Safety for Use

Acute side effects
It is now generally accepted that "...except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications" (Institute of Medicine Report of 1999). This opinion is supported by recent clinical research. Besides abuse and dependency, the main side effects of concern are those on the cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal systems, and on cognitive functions. More...

Documented safety of long-term cannabis use
Studies have shown the long-term use of cannabis to be safe. In contrast to many other medicinal drugs, the long-term use of cannabis does not harm stomach, liver, kidneys and heart. More...

Side effects of the legal situation
The illegal status of cannabis under most jurisdictions causes negative consequences for many with regard to their career, personal and professional relationships, suspension of driving privilege, and health. More...

Cannabis as gateway drug
Recent research suggests that recreationally used cannabis does not act as a gateway drug to harder drugs such as alcohol, cocaine and heroin. The same will apply to users of medicinal cannabis. More...

.Dependence Liability

Basic research on rewarding, tolerance and withdrawal

In recent years, scientists were able to show that animals do self-administer THC under certain conditions. Basic animal research also shows that cannabis produces tolerance and withdrawal. This research helps explain abuse of cannabis and dependency in humans. However, basic research cannot predict how pronounced these effects will be in humans and whether they are stronger or less strong compared to other drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and heroin. More...

Dependency compared to other drugs

Compared to other widely used drugs (alcohol, tobacco, opiates) a smaller percentage of cannabis users become dependent. Dependency is also less severe compared to many other legal and illegal drugs. The relatively low dependence liability of cannabis is widely recognized. More...

Abuse Potential

Use and Abuse

The government’s review of the 1995 marijuana rescheduling petition did not distinguish between use and abuse according to professional standards, such as those in use by the medical and scientific community. Widespread use of cannabis is not an indication of its abuse potential, and widespread use of marijuana without dependency supports the argument that marijuana is safe for use under medical supervision. More...

Abuse of cannabis

Several studies demonstrate that abuse rates for cannabis are lower than rates for other common drugs. Cannabis use is usually not problematic use and cannabis users usually have no social problems which can be attributed to cannabis. The abuse potential of cannabis is insufficient to justify prohibition of medical use. More...

Emergency room admissions

Data on both drug treatment and emergency room admissions also distinguish the abuse potential of marijuana from that of other drugs, and establishes its relative abuse potential as lower than Schedule I drugs such as heroin and Schedule II drugs such as cocaine. More...

Cannabis and dronabinol

There is growing evidence that there is no relevant difference in subjective effects between (Schedule III) dronabinol and cannabis. Thus, it can be expected that the abuse liability is similar for both agents. More...

 

 
 
 
  
 
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