Cannabis advocates have a new and perhaps unlikely ally: the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The group last week passed two new resolutions into its platform, with one calling for the decriminalization of recreational cannabis and the other calling on the federal government to re-categorize marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.
The organization, which boasts over 120,000 physicians as members, reasoned that the cost of prohibition is simply too high, both socially and in taxpayer money. The decriminalization resolution (which originally called for full legalization but was amended prior to a member vote) cited studies and statistics regarding arrests and argued that legalizing cannabis would save the federal government $8.7 billion a year.
The rescheduling resolution, meanwhile, focused on the lack of research behind medical marijuana, and argued that if it were to be moved to Schedule II, that would facilitate more study of the proper medical applications of cannabis.
It also noted a common fact cited by advocates: that there are tens of thousands who fatally overdose each year from prescription medications, but not a single fatal overdose from marijuana has ever been recorded.