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U.S. Surgeon General Says We Need to Reconsider How We Schedule Marijuana

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams says we should look into how we schedule marijuana, and that its current schedule hinders medical research.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams (photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images).

“Just as we need to look at criminal justice laws, rules and regulations, we need to look at health laws, rules and regulations, and that includes the scheduling system,” said Adams during a recent question and answer session at a Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative conference. “I’ll take it somewhere else: marijuana. We need to look at the way we schedule different medications across the board, because one of the concerns that I have with marijuana is the difficulty that the folks have to do research on it, because of the scheduling system.”

Currently marijuana is a schedule 1 drug, meaning it has absolutely no medical value; other schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD and MDMA. Marijuana’s status as a schedule 1 drug makes it almost impossible for most researchers to study it in a comprehensive and unbiased manner.

Adams was nominated by President Trump to become the 20th U.S. Surgeon General in June of last year; he was confirmed by the Senate in August, and took over the position the following month. Prior to his current position, Adams served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner.

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Minnesota Adds Alzheimer’s Disease as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday that it was adding Alzheimer’s disease to the state’s medical marijuana program.

“[T]here is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”, said state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, who made the final decision to add the disease to medical marijuana program. The move allows those with the Alzheimer’s who receive a recommendation from a physician to legally purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis products for medical use.

Unfortunately Malcolm declined to add six other conditions that were submitted by a state advisory panel; these were opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, panic disorder, psoriasis and traumatic brain injury.

The other qualifying medical marijuana conditions in Minnesota are:
  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
  • Glaucoma
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

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