Last updated on: 5/15/2008 | Author:

California Medical Association Biography

Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“[The] CMA continue[s] to support the ability of physicians to discuss and make recommendations concerning the potential benefits or harm to the patient of smoked herbal cannabis consistent with state and federal law and oppose criminal prosecution of patients who possess or use smoked herbal cannabis for medical reasons upon the recommendation of a physician.”

Oct. 30, 2006, Resolution in support of medical marijuana access and research

[Editor’s Note: Prior to the Pro position statement made above, the California Medical Association’s position was Con medical marijuana as indicated in the Jan. 2004 statement below.]

“CMA has consistently maintained its position that cannabis should be available for therapeutic use as a Schedule II drug only if there are properly controlled studies proving that it is efficacious. CMA believes that seriously ill patients should not be offered a therapy whose efficacy may be illusory and which in some cases may actually worsen the patient’s medical condition. Therefore, CMA has opposed the ‘medicalization’ of cannabis unless and until there is objective proof that such use is scientifically justifiable.

At the same time, however, CMA believes that, if a physician concludes that there are no standard therapies available that will sufficiently relieve the suffering of a seriously ill patient, the patient should be able to seek out, and obtain access to, that treatment without interference from the federal government.”

Jan. 2004, “The Compassionate Use Act of 1996: The Medical Marijuana Initiative” PDF, CMA Legal Counsel


“CMA began on the principles that all patients of all ethnicities should be treated for their illnesses, and the CMA supplied the nation with some of its first ethnic medical leaders. Just as in 1857, the CMA continues to work toward bridging language and ethnic barriers with patients by placing new physicians in underserved areas of the state through the Stephen M. Thompson Loan Forgiveness Program, and studying the effects of limited English proficiency on patient care.

In recent years, the CMA House of Delegates approved “mode-of-practice” forums to provide representation for physicians based on the type of practice they are in—solo/small group; medium; large and very large group; academic; hospital-based; or government employed. An ethnic physicians’ forum also was established.”

“CMA Mission and History,” California Medical Association website (accessed Sep. 6, 2007)


“California Medical Association’s mission is to promote the science and art of medicine, the care and well-being of patients, the protection of the public health, and the betterment of the medical profession; to promote similar interests in its component societies; and to unite with similar organizations in other states and territories of the United States to form the American Medical Association.”

“CMA Mission and History,” California Medical Association website (accessed Sep. 6, 2007)

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