Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission member Stephen Taylor, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and addiction psychiatrist, said that the state should not be calling cannabis “medical” during a meeting of the commission on Monday, according to a report from Al.com. Taylor argued that “if it hasn’t been validated as medicine, we shouldn’t be calling it medical marijuana or medical cannabis.”
“And the idea that we would just put something out there and call it medicine for the people of our state to use when it really isn’t a legitimate medicine, that concerns me. That means that we are taking the chance at causing more harm than good. And that’s the opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing.” – Taylor, during an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Meeting, via Al.com
Taylor pointed to an advisory by U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams late last month about the dangers of cannabis use by teenagers and pregnant women. Adams, who made the advisory while announcing a cannabis-focused public health campaign, said that cannabis use “carries more risk than ever”; although last year he indicated he supported reclassification of cannabis on the federal drug schedule.
Medical Cannabis Commission Chairman Sen. Tem Melson (R), who is also an anesthesiologist and medical researcher, said that some studies show medical cannabis helps some patients whether it’s called medicine or not, while responding to Taylor, and asked him what he would rather call it.
“Because I can show you studies where it helps, so let’s come up with a name that makes everybody happy because a name is a name. It doesn’t really matter. It’s the results and the studies that show that it’s been effective,” he said following Taylor’s comments, according to the report. “So, I don’t care what we call it. But I’m going to tell you that I want to find a way to get it to the people who need it and do it in a responsible way.”
The committee was created by the legislature in June after lawmakers failed to pass a bill sponsored by Melson. The 15-person commission includes doctors, lawmakers, and other governor appointees to study medical cannabis legalization in the state. Under the law, the commission is expected to present potential legislation by the start of the 2020 session. The state does have a limited CBD program on the books which allows the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study high CBD oil and intractable seizure disorders.
The commission will meet again next month.
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