U.S. Surgeon General Admits That Pot Has Benefits

Appearing on CBS This Morning, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said this: “We have to use that data to drive policy making,” he said, adding later, “I’m very interested to see where that takes us.”

Murthy is the first U.S. Surgeon General to admit this.

He joins the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the California Medical Association who also agree.

Though his statement could signify that the tides are turning, the Department of Health & Human Services followed it up with a lukewarm statement: “Marijuana policy — and all public health policies — should be driven by science,” the statement read. “I believe that marijuana should be subjected to the same, rigorous clinical trials and scientific scrutiny that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applies to all new medications. The Federal Government has and continues to fund research on possible health benefits of marijuana and its components. While clinical trials for certain components of marijuana appear promising for some medical conditions, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the standards for safe and effective medicine for any condition to date.”

While marijuana is still considered a Schedule I narcotic, it will be hard to study.

According to Vice, the only legal supplier of research-grade marijuana in the country is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). As its name implies, the institute has a congressionally-mandated mission to research abuse and addiction, not the potential therapeutic effects of drugs.

Hopefully, this will be changing as well. According to the Daily Beast, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is considering introducing rescheduling legislation.

“It’s a work in progress,” the aide said, but couldn’t offer any specifics.