Addiction Experts Battle Over Marijuana Legalization

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By Karri Gallaugher

The Directors of the American Society for Addiction Medicine had a meeting on Sunday in Washington to discuss their recent California chapter. The California Chapter of the American Society for Addiction has been considering supporting a legalization measure in the state. The report from three of their top California members says they would like to see California replace its besieged medical marijuana program with a legalization model that would treat marijuana like alcohol, regulated for adults only and taxed so the program can pay for its own regulation and have money left over for treatment programs.

The California chapter leaders in their letter to the national organization said

“the best course of action would be to replace the current system of medical marijuana dispensaries and physician recommendations with a more strictly regulated system in which physicians are no longer gatekeepers for access, and fees and taxes from marijuana sales preferentially support education, prevention, and intervention for youth with marijuana-related problems.”

The national organization of the American Society for Addiction Medicine, however, is not going along with this and is still against Medical Marijuana. They have decided to restate their policy in opposition to marijuana legalization. They released a statement that read

“We oppose any changes in law and regulation that would lead to a sudden significant increase in the availability of any dependence-producing drug,This policy includes marijuana, a mood-altering drug capable of producing dependence as well as serious negative mental, emotional, behavioral and physical consequences.”

The American Society for Addiction Medicine was admitted to the American Medical Associations house of Delegates as voting members.