These days, it seems like more and more people in high places are coming forward to show their support for medical marijuana and its healing, therapeutic effects. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama have expressed their views on legalization, giving advocates and patients something to be optimistic about in the future. Now, the U.S. Surgeon General is joining the chorus, saying that cannabis can be helpful for specific medical conditions.
As the surgeon general, Vivek Murthy serves as the chief spokesperson and top doctor when it comes to public health. Regardless of who is in the position, when a surgeon general expresses an opinion on those matters, it’s viewed as important and highly-regarded. In this case, Murthy is on the side of those who believe that cannabis can help to heal and/or maintain an illness and the symptoms associated with it.
“We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, marijuana can be helpful, so I think we have to use that data to drive policy-making, and I’m very interested to see where that data takes us,” Murthy said.
His comments illustrate what has become a slow but steadily blossoming trend among politicians and others associated with the federal government: reluctant but optimistic acceptance of cannabis as medicine.
Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, believes that an expression like that from someone as high-ranking as the surgeon general should require immediate action from the government.
“Dr. Murthy’s comments add to a growing consensus in the medical community that marijuana can help people suffering from painful conditions.” he said. “It’s crazy that federal law still considers marijuana a Schedule I drug, a category that’s supposed to be reserved for substances with no medical value. In light of these comments from his top medical adviser, the president should direct the attorney general to immediately begin the process of rescheduling marijuana.”
States in the U.S. are already getting their plan, petitions and campaigns together for the 2016 election where, like in 2014, cannabis will likely take center stage in many regions. Because of Murthy’s standing as a top medical advisor, his perspective on the efficacy of cannabis in the medical world is a huge win for advocates who seek political support. Hopefully comments like this will continue to spark the change needed to get marijuana to be seen as the healing plant that it is.
Does cannabis help you manage your symptoms? Tell us how in the comments.