Call To Action
Science is a pillar of democracy, and unfortunately it is under attack under the Trump Administration. However, scientific progress has been halted and indisputable evidence has been denied in several fields of science for decades on the federal level. One such field is drug policy reform and research on medical benefits of Schedule 1 drugs including marijuana. We need to move forward in these fields, and this anti-science political climate, including silencing of researchers and suppression of publication, is unconstitutional, irrational, and inhumane.
The medical benefits of cannabis are indisputable, with thousands of published studies and may countries legalizing medical cannabis, including Canada, Germany, and Australia. Over half of our own states have legalized medical marijuana, yet our federal government, and particularly the DEA, continue to not only state that it is a harmful and addictive Schedule 1 drug with no medical benefit, but allow prosecution of medical cannabis patients and providers across the country. Sadly, our federal government even owns several patents on cannabinoid medicine, including “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants,” the #6630507 patent.
In response to a federal government that refuses to use science as a foundation for policy, we as scientists vow to fight for transparency and truth in policy creation and review, funding of medical benefits of cannabis research, and descheduling of marijuana and regulation as a nutraceutical. We as Scientists for Legalization (of Cannabis) can no longer be silent and complicit with the “alternative facts “about marijuana presented by the federal government and agencies like the DEA and NIDA, as it is symptomatic of a much bigger problem.
Scientists for Legalization calls on all scientists and scientific associations to promote cannabis legalization and regulation. Cannabis should be safe, effective, accessible, and affordable for all patients. Science should never be silenced. We hold true the following principles:
- We believe cannabis and all natural cannabinoids should be removed from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).
- We believe federal and state governments must base cannabis policy on science and provide current, objective and rigorous research instead of propaganda to the public.
- We believe no patient should be denied access to medical cannabis treatment while cannabis research is being conducted.
- We believe there should be no legal or social risks to participating in cannabis research.
- We believe cannabis research should be funded by federal and state government.
- We believe scientific research on cannabis should be objective and broad-focused.
- We believe no researcher or educator should be fired or not hired simply for being a responsible medical marijuana patient.
Together, Scientists for Legalization will do the following:
- Support development of cannabinoid medicine undergraduate programs
- Support development of cannabinoid medicine departments at educational institutions to promote cannabinoid medicine research and graduate education
- Support development of fellowship programs and scholarships for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate researchers in cannabinoid medicine
- Support addition of endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid medicine into medical, nursing, biomedical graduate, and pharmacy school curriculum
- Support science-based K-12 drug education including updating to include medical benefits of cannabis for conditions alongside of risks for underage use.
- Support immediate descheduling of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and many health benefits
- Support descheduling of cannabis on federal and state government levels
- Support removal of cannabis from the UN Treaty
- Support immediate decriminalization of cannabis use by patients across the nation
- Support coverage by VA of cannabis treatment in veterans with PTSD, TBI, and other chronic health problems
- Support healthcare coverage of marijuana recommendations and medical cannabis
- Support policy reform that prevents employment discrimination of medical cannabis patients in nursing, research, medicine, education, and other federally-funded professions.
- Support significant funding of medical benefits of whole-plant cannabis products via the NIH, not just synthetic cannabinoids
- Support cannabis research studies on a broad number of conditions and demographics, not just conditions impacting children or veterans
- Support funding of cannabinoid medicine research in the United States by nonprofit foundations
- Support policy reform that allows universities to accept money for research from cannabis industry sponsors without fear of repercussion from the federal government
- Support policy reform that allows banking for cannabis industry to allow for research sponsorship funding instead of transactions in cash
- Support policy reform that exempts the legal cannabis industry from the unfair IRS tax code 280E and allows they to apply tax-saving to research funding
- Support policy reform that allows research on medical benefits of state-legal cannabis products instead of requiring use of marijuana grown by the University of Mississippi
- Support language change in scientific publications and presentations from the slang and culturally offensive “marijuana” to “cannabis”
- Support language change in scientific publications and presentations from describing marijuana or cannabis as the “most abused illicit drug” to a drug with some medical value
- Support removing cannabis from drugs of abuse category where it is found along with heroin, cocaine etc.) in research studies
Join our community of scientists and allies in the United States and across the world to move forward cannabinoid medicine for the benefit of public health and to encourage truth, transparency, and rational policy in our governments.