"The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day."
Joycelyn Elders, MD, Former US Surgeon General
"The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world."
“Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”
President Jimmy Carter
"I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled 'Why I would Vote No on Pot.'Well, I am here to apologize.I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough. I didn't review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis...I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have 'no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.'They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works...We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that."
Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN
"As a physician, I am frustrated that I cannot prescribe marijuana for patients who might benefit from it. At the very least I would like to be able to refer them to a safe, reliable, quality-controlled source."
Andrew Weil, MD, Director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine
"The criminal prosecution of patients for medical marijuana must end immediately, and marijuana must be treated as a medicine for the seriously ill...Research has shown marijuana to be a safe and effective medicine for controlling nausea associated with cancer therapy, reducing the eye pressure for patients with glaucoma, and reducing muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, para- and quadriplegia...Physicians must have the right to prescribe this drug to their patients without the fear of the federal government revoking their licenses, and doctor-patient privacy must be protected. The Drug Enforcement Administration should not be practicing medicine."
Ralph Nader, LLB, attorney, author, consumer advocate
"The question is not whether marijuana is better than existing medication. For many medical conditions, there are numerous medications available, some of which work better in some patients and some which work better in others. Having the maximum number of effective medications available allows physicians to deliver the best possible medical care to individual patients."
Lynn Zimmer, PhD, former Professor Emeritus at the Queens College, City University, New York (CUNY), and John P. Morgan, MD, Medical Professor Emeritus at CUNY Medical School
"Thousands of seriously ill Americans have been able to determine that for themselves, albeit illegally. Like my own family, these individuals did not wish to break the law but they had no other choice. The numerous attempts to legitimately resolve the issue-via state legislation and federal administrative hearings-have too often been ignored or thwarted by misguided federal agencies. Several states conducted extensive, and expensive, research programs which demonstrated marijuana's medical utility-particularly in the treatment of chemotherapy side-effects. Francis L. Young, the chief administrative law judge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, ruled marijuana has legitimate medical applications and should be available to doctors."
Lyn Nofziger, former Press Secretary to Ronald Reagan
"Many of the chronically ill have successfully sought relief with the use of medical cannabis, an age-old remedy that now shows real scientific efficacy. Hundreds of thousands of the sick have replaced disabling narcotics and other psychotropic medications with nontoxic and benign cannabis. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Folks with spinal injuries able to give up their walkers, AIDS patients able to gain weight and keep their medications down, cancer patients finding relief from the terrible nausea of chemotherapy, chronic pain patients once again functional with their consciousness restored from narcotic lethargy, and folks once disabled from crippling psychiatric disorders and addictions, returned to sanity and society with the assistance of a nontoxic herb with remarkable healing powers."
Jay Cavanaugh, PhD, National Director of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC)
"For many patients, traditional medications do work and they do not require or desire medical marijuana. However, for a significant number of serious ill patients, including patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain among others, traditional medications do not provide symptomatic relief as effectively as medicinal cannabis. These patients must not be branded as criminals or forced to suffer needlessly in pain."
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
"I repeatedly saw how marijuana could ameliorate a patient's debilitating fatigue, restore appetite, diminish pain, remedy nausea, cure vomiting and curtail down-to-the-bone weight loss. The federal obsession with a political agenda that keeps marijuana out of the hands of sick and dying people is appalling and irrational. Washington bureaucrats -- far removed from the troubled bedsides of sick and dying patients -- are ignoring what patients and doctors and health care workers are telling them about real world suffering.The federal refusal to honor public referendums like California's voter-approved Medical Marijuana Initiative is as bewildering as it is ominous. Its refusal to listen to doctors groups like the California Medical Association that support compassionate use of medical marijuana is chilling. In a society that has witnessed extensive positive experiences with medicinal marijuana, as long as it is safe and not proven to be ineffective, why shouldn't seriously ill patients have access to it? Why should an old woman be made to die a horrible death for a hollow political symbol?"
Kate Scannell, MD, Co-Director of the Kaiser-Permanente Northern California Ethics Department
"There are really no other medications that have the same mechanisms of action as marijuana. Dronabinol (Marinol) is available by prescription in capsules, but has the distinct disadvantage of containing only synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is only one of many therapeutically beneficial cannabinoids in the natural plant. Interestingly, it is the most psychoactive of the cannabinoids and is the one that the Federal government allows to be prescribed!Cannabinoids are now known to have the capacity for neuromodulation, via direct, receptor-based mechanisms, at numerous levels within the nervous system. These provide therapeutic properties that may be applicable to the treatment of neurological disorders, including anti-oxidative, neuroprotective effects, analgesia, anti-inflammatory actions, immunomodulation, modulation of glial cells and tumor growth regulation. Beyond that, the cannabinoids have also been shown to be remarkably safe with no potential for overdose."
Gregory T. Carter, MD, Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and Co-director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Center
"People who are dying and suffering in states where medical marijuana is legal should be able to use the drug under a doctor's supervision to ease their pain without having to worry that the federal government is going to bust down their door and arrest them. It is immoral to deny people access to medicine that can help relieve their pain and suffering."
Maurice Hinchey, Member of the US House of Representatives (D-NY)
"The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions."
The American Nurses Association (ANA)
"I have seen many patients with chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea, anorexia, and other unpleasant symptoms obtain significant -- often remarkable -- relief from cannabis medicines, well beyond what had been provided by traditional (usually opiate-based) pain relievers."
David Hadorn, MD, PhD, Medical Consultant for GW Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.
"Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never cause an overdose death."
Lester Grinspoon, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
"The evidence in this record [9-6-88 ruling] clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record."
Francis L. Young, former Chief Administrative Law Judge at the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
"There are more than 60 therapeutic compounds in cannabis that are healing agents in medical and herbal treatments. The primary one is THC, and the effectiveness of therapy is directly proportionate to the herb's potency or concentration of THC."
Jack Herer, author and pro-marijuana activist
"Consumer Reports believes that, for patients with advanced AIDS and terminal cancer, the apparent benefits some derive from smoking marijuana outweigh any substantiated or even suspected risks. In the same spirit the FDA uses to hasten the approval of cancer drugs, federal laws should be relaxed in favor of states' rights to allow physicians to administer marijuana to their patients on a caring and compassionate basis."
Consumer Reports Magazine, in the May 1997 "Marijuana as Medicine - How Strong Is the Science?"
"Based on much evidence, from patients and doctors alike, on the superior effectiveness and safety of whole cannabis compared to other medications, the President should instruct the NIH and the Food and Drug Administration to make efforts to enroll seriously ill patients whose physicians believe that whole cannabis would be helpful to their conditions in clinical trials, both to allow data-gathering and to provide an alternative to the black market while the scientific questions about the possible utility of cannabis are resolved."
The Federation of American Scientists in a Nov. 15, 1994 petition to US Department of Health and Human
"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances know to man.... Marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record."
“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.
Francis Young, Drug Enforcement Administration's Chief Administrative Law Judge
And it’s just not rational that adults don’t have the choice of using marijuana, but they do for alcohol. Marijuana is less likely to be addictive, it’s less likely to cause car accidents and birth defects, it’s less likely to cause domestic violence. So how do you rationally say that it’s OK to drink alcohol with that profile but it’s not OK to occasionally use marijuana?”
Dr. Richard Besser, ABC’s chief health and medical editor
“I grew up with most of my generation thinking that marijuana was something Satan was throwing at Americans and a communist plot, but I think that most of us have come around to the belief that marijuana is hugely beneficial when used correctly for medicinal purposes.”
“The only effect that I ever noticed from smoking marijuana was a sort of mild sedative, a release of tension when I was overworking. It never made me boisterous or quarrelsome. It anything, it calmed me and reduced my activity."
Robert Mitchum, Actor
The Epilepsy Foundation supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana.The Epilepsy Foundation calls for an end to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into medical marijuana for epilepsy.The Epilepsy Foundation believes that an end to seizures should not be determined by one’s zip code.
The Epilepsy Foundation statement on Cannabis
“ I do smoke, but I don’t go through all this trouble just because I want to make my drug of choice legal. It’s about personal freedom. We should have the right in this country to do what we want, if we don’t hurt anybody.”