On Tuesday the nation's largest group of physicians changed its stance on marijuana. The American Medical Association urged the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances. Schedule 1 is the most serious classification for controlled substances. It includes such dangerous drugs as heroin and LSD. Since 1997 the AMA has maintained that it should be on the list of Schedule 1 drugs. The American Medical Association has about 250,000 members. The AMA has changed their stance on marijuana because they seek to conduct more clinical research on the risks and benefits of marijuana and try to develop medicines based on marijuana. The change in the AMA's stance is another step in the evolving view of the risks and benefits of marijuana. We have been reporting on the changes to various state laws which have led to the legalization of medical marijuana in 13 states. However, the AMA did warn that this change in their stance should not be viewed as endorsement of the legalization of marijuana or support for medical marijuana. The AMA is not the first major doctors organization to change their position on marijuana. In 2008, the American College of Physicians, the nation's second largest physician group issued a statement calling for research into the therapeutic uses of marijuana.
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