CHICAGO — A proposal to endorse the limited use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients was rejected at the American Medical Association’s annual meeting.
An AMA committee on Monday voted against the proposal, and the group’s House of Delegates on Tuesday approved a revised policy that did not support medical marijuana use.
Under the new policy, adopted without debate, the AMA endorses "the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives."
The previous policy simply endorsed additional research into the effectiveness and safety of medical marijuana.
The proposal to support some use of medical marijuana was put forth by the AMA’s Council on Scientific Affairs. Dr. Melvin Sterling, a member of the council from Orange, Calif., told a committee Monday, "This report is about the relief of suffering; it’s not about getting high."
But others testified they were concerned that the AMA’s endorsement would have led to more widespread use of medical marijuana than the proposal intended.
Also Tuesday, the 547 delegates approved a resolution calling on the AMA to ask the Boy Scouts to reconsider its ban on homosexuals.
But the measure deleted language that said the Scouts’ ban on gays risks driving youngsters to suicide. The committee that heard the proposal pointed to a lack of scientific testimony in doing so.
The AMA also, for the second year in a row, rejected a resolution asking it to endorse a moratorium on executions. Opponents called it a legal issue, not a medical one. The AMA did reaffirm its opposition to physicians participating in executions.
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