U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has joined the growing chorus of top medical professionals and organizations in favor of reforming marijuana laws to allow access for medical purposes.
On today’s CBS This Morning Murthy said, “We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, that marijuana can be helpful. I think that we have to use that data to drive policymaking.”
He said it’s an “interesting story that’s unfolding in our country right now,” and that “we have to see what the science tells us about the efficacy of marijuana, and I think we’re going to get a lot more data on that” as more states pass laws to allow access to medical marijuana.
Twenty-three U.S. states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing the use and production of medical marijuana for qualifying patients under state law. However, the medical use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and patients in the remaining states are without any legal access at all. Even in states where medical marijuana laws exist, patients and providers are vulnerable to arrest and interference from federal law enforcement. Marijuana prohibition has also thwarted research within the U.S. to uncover the best and most effective uses for marijuana as a medicine, making efforts to reform medical marijuana laws particularly difficult.