AMA Embraces Psychedelics Research, Kratom Decriminalization, and Drug Policy Reforms in Historic Move

AMA’s <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with drug policy">Drug Policy</a> Reforms: A Historic <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Shift">Shift</a> in Stance

AMA’s Drug Policy Reforms: A Historic Shift in Stance

In a groundbreaking move, the American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a series of new drug policy positions,
signaling a significant change in their approach. The organization is now advocating for psychedelic research,
opposing the criminalization of kratom, seeking an end to the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine,
and supporting the continued of marijuana metabolites in employment-based drug tests.

During their latest meeting, the AMA’s House of Delegates, which convened last month to consider various resolutions,
chose not to approve an additional measure aimed at revising their stance on marijuana. The proposed revision would
have maintained opposition to legalization while acknowledging the potential benefits of regulating cannabis
products. Instead, the AMA opted to continue advocating for prohibition without the newly proposed

This latest development comes approximately a year after AMA delegates voted to amend their policy position,
supporting the expungement of past marijuana convictions in that have legalized the plant.

A Shift in Drug Policy Focus

Diverse aspects of drug policy were addressed by the body during this recent meeting.

A notable achievement celebrated by the American Kratom Association (AKA) is the adoption of a new resolution
stating that individuals using kratom solely for personal purposes should not face criminal consequences. The
resolution also urges regulatory bodies to evaluate kratom’s appropriateness for sale and potential oversight
through the Controlled Substances Act before marketing or prescription. It highlights the need for regulation by the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and insists on determining kratom’s and efficacy through clinical trials
before using it as a treatment for any condition.

Regarding , the AMA’s delegates voted in favor of a separate measure advocating for continued research
and therapeutic exploration into psychedelic and entactogenic agents. The AMA emphasizes that such research should
adhere to scientific integrity and regulatory standards similar to other promising therapies in medicine. However,
the resolution also voices opposition to using any psychedelic or entactogenic compound (such as psilocybin or MDMA)
to treat psychiatric disorders unless they have received FDA approval or are prescribed within approved
investigational studies.

“The AMA believes that scientifically valid and well-controlled clinical trials are necessary to assess the
safety and effectiveness of all new drugs, including psychedelics potentially used for psychiatric disorder
treatment,” said AMA Immediate Past President Jack Resneck Jr. He further stated, “The AMA appreciates that
lawmakers want to help address the mental health crisis in the U.S., but there are other straightforward
approaches that don’t thwart drug-safety assessment and regulation, such as increasing coverage and removing
barriers to care for evidence-based treatments.”

Additionally, the delegates adopted a resolution expressing support for the continuation of cannabis metabolite
analysis in relevant drug testing performed for occupational and municipal purposes. Despite institutions removing
marijuana testing requirements amid state-level legalization, the AMA stands firm in supporting continued
cannabinoid screenings in pre-employment, post-accident, random, and for-cause testing.

Moreover, during the meeting, members considered adding new resolutions to existing marijuana positions. One
proposed resolution opposed legalization until research could prove its medical efficacy, while also calling for
warning labels and restrictions. However, the delegates chose to reaffirm the group’s current platform,
which maintains opposition to legalization, defines cannabis as a “dangerous drug,” and advocates for social equity
in states that have enacted marijuana reform.

The proposed change would have tacitly recognized potential opportunities for legalization and regulation,
specifically by drafting state model legislation for states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.
The legislation would aim to prohibit dispensaries from selling marijuana products with misleading health
information or therapeutic claims, require hazardous warnings on marijuana product labels similar to tobacco and
alcohol warnings, and ban advertising of marijuana products in places where children frequent. However, this measure
was ultimately not approved.

In a separate resolution, the AMA expressed support for eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack and
powder cocaine and providing retroactive sentencing for those affected by these unjust laws. AMA Trustee Ilse Levin
emphasized that the disparity lacks scientific basis, as there are no significant pharmacological differences
between the drugs. Levin further stressed the importance of rectifying past injustices and ensuring justice for
those convicted under these discriminatory laws.

AMA’s Studies on Cannabis Policy

Over the past year, AMA, which has been a long-standing voice opposing marijuana legalization, has also published
several studies concerning . One such study published in their journal revealed that medical marijuana
use significantly improves the for people with conditions like chronic pain and insomnia, with
sustained effects over time. Another study showed that chronic pain patients using medical cannabis for over a month
experienced significant reductions in prescribed opioids. Moreover, a study from last year linked state cannabis
legalization to reduced opioid prescribing for certain cancer patients, consistent with numerous studies showing the
potential benefits of cannabis legalization and its impact on opioid prescribing and overdose rates.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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