Medical society presidents from four states joined forces to express their mutual opposition regarding their states’ approval of any policies that legalize recreational marijuana.
The doctors said that they have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports legalizing recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults.
In a joint statement Dr. John Poole, president, Medical Society of New Jersey; Dr. Thomas Madejski, president, Medical Society of the State of New York; Dr. Claudia Gruss, president, Connecticut State Medical Society; and Dr. Andrew Dahlke, president, Medical Society of Delaware, said that not enough research has been done to prove marijuana is safe.
“We must look at the potential effect legalization will have on overall use and significant harms, including impaired driving and accidents, creation and worsening of severe mental health issues, and negative impacts on developing minds. We also must look at the data from other states where there has been an increase in teen usage and an increase in car accidents.”
They said that the huge increase in teen vaping causes great concern. “It is very possible that we will have a similar situation with legalized marijuana.”
The doctors assert that states that are rushing towards legalization of recreational marijuana are ignoring how profit-driven corporations hooked generations of Americans on cigarettes and opioids, killing millions and straining public resources.
“We are in full agreement that calls for a rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II classification. As a Schedule II drug, government funding can be sought for necessary research that clearly defines the positive and negative elements of marijuana use. When we have the science, we can make a qualified and quantified decisions about legalization.”
They said that while they are cognizant of the legal inequity that is all too often attached to marijuana use, they agree with the American Medical Association that public-health-based strategies are a better solution than either the old commitment to incarceration or this new attempt to dodge the problem through legalization.
“We must keep patients first and ahead of profits and taxable revenue.”
The statement went on to say: “As physician leaders, we agree, as one voice, that the legalization of recreational marijuana does not serve the best interests of our patients nor will it serve the best interest of our states.”