Pediatricians' Group Publishes Support for Medical Marijuana Research

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Pediatricians' Group Publishes Support for Medical Marijuana Research

By Victoria Kim 01/28/15

The American Academy of Pediatrics threw its weight behind using cannabinoids for life-limiting or severely debilitating conditions.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement on Monday, updating their position on marijuana as it relates to children.

Among the recommendations made in the policy statement, the 62,000 member organization of primary care and sub-specialist pediatricians said they oppose medical marijuana, unless approved by the FDA. Currently, there are two FDA-approved drugs that contain synthetic cannabinoids, according to Live Science.

However, the AAP noted that an exception is the use of marijuana for children with “life-limiting or severely debilitating conditions and for whom current therapies are inadequate,” thus saying that cannabinoid administration is an acceptable option in these cases.

A recent example of this is the arrest of Adam Koessler, a man in Australia who faces jail time for administering cannabis oil to his two-year-old daughter, Rumer, to supplement her chemotherapy. Diagnosed with stage four of the rare aggressive neuroblastoma cancer in December, Rumer has just a 50% chance of survival.

In addition, the AAP “strongly supports research and development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids,” noting the need for more research on the medical use of these compounds.

To facilitate this, the AAP recommends that the federal government reclassify marijuana. Currently, marijuana is classified by the DEA as a Schedule I drug, i.e. one of the “most dangerous drugs” of all the drug schedules. Schedule I drugs, which also include LSD, heroin, and ecstasy, are defined as having “potentially severe psychological or physical dependence” with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

Reclassifying marijuana to Schedule II would lift many of the barriers that limit marijuana research today.

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