Monday, May 20, 2024

American Nurses Association Publicly Supports Rescheduling

Nurses, the front line works in patient healthcare, come out in support of rescheduling

In the last election, President Biden promised to help the cannabis industry, two years into his term, he agreed to start the process. Now, joining the chorus of supporters, the American Nurses Association publicly supports rescheduling.  The medical community has recognized medical marijuana has significant medical benefits, especially in the fight against opioids.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) joins bipartisan governors, Health and Human Service HHS), US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in recommending the change.

ANA shared this in a public statement “Marijuana and its derivatives continue to be used to alleviate disease-related symptoms and side effects. The findings of anecdotal and controlled studies regarding the efficacy for patient use are mixed. Current federal regulations impede the research necessary to evaluate and determine the therapeutic use of marijuana and related cannabinoids. This position statement does not extend to the current debate on the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. The goal is to develop an evidence-based approach to its use in the treatment of disease and symptom management.”

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

Cannabis is currently a Schedule I drug, listed among those considered to have no accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse. This makes marijuana classified on the same level as heroin, LSD, MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms.

Schedule III drugs are defined as having a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. They currently include ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone and acetaminophen with codeine.

medical marijuana
Photo by thegoodphoto/Getty Images

Cannabis is currently a Schedule I drug, listed among those considered to have no accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse. This makes marijuana classified on the same level as heroin, LSD, MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms.

Schedule III drugs are defined as having a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. They currently include Ibuprofen,  ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone and acetaminophen with codeine.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

They continued to state “It is the shared responsibility of professional nursing organizations to speak for nurses collectively in shaping health care and to promulgate change for the improvement of health and health care”.  Therefore, the ANA strongly supports:

  • Scientific review of marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance and relisting marijuana as a federal Schedule II controlled substance for purposes of facilitating research.
  • Development of prescribing standards that includes indications for use, specific dose, route, expected effect and possible side effects, as well as indications for stopping a medication.
  • Establishing evidence-based standards for the use of marijuana and related cannabinoids.
  • Protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients using therapeutic marijuana and related cannabinoids as permitted under state laws.
  • Exemption from criminal prosecution, civil liability, or professional sanctioning, such as loss of licensure or credentialing, for health care practitioners who discuss treatment alternatives concerning marijuana or who prescribe, dispense or administer marijuana in accordance with professional standards and state laws.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has made it clear they are the final authority for rescheduling and it seems the Biden administration has not pushed toward a quick resolution.  It would be unprecedented for the DEA to go against the recommendations of HHS and the FDA, but it does mean it will follow or do it any time soon.  The statement from the ANA adds to the pressure to act.

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