Medical cannabis professionals may have a new ally at the federal level: U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CBS this week that “marijuana can be helpful” for some medical ailments.
“We have to use that data to drive policymaking,” Murthy said, indicating that he thinks MMJ should perhaps be more widely available in the United States than it is now.
Murthy hedged his statements, however, saying that more research is needed to accurately determine marijuana’s best uses and its limitations.
But it’s another indication of growing support in Washington DC for reforming marijuana laws.
The American Academy of Pediatrics in January urged the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II so additional research could be more easily performed (which is the smallest possible administrative step the federal government could take to permit research). More recently, President Barack Obama sent a funding bill to Congress that included language that would allow DC to move forward with recreational marijuana legalization and sales.
This kind of indirect pressure from high-profile government officials could pave the way for more marijuana-related business opportunities and research down the road.