In a time when the support for the legalization of cannabis is growing at an unstoppable rate, it should be no surprise that a growing number of healthcare professionals are in favor of legalization. However, while there are plenty of national associations of doctors there was not one where doctors could openly speak in favor of cannabis legalization and be speaking for the entire organization – which is how Doctors for Cannabis Regulation was born.
The slogan on their website is “Because you don’t have to be pro-marijuana to oppose its prohibition”. This is excellent because it points out that while these doctors are not necessarily advocating for the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, they do agree that prohibition is causing more harm to the public than it is able to prevent.
“As physicians we have a professional obligation to do no harm. The prohibitionist policies of the last five decades have directly and indirectly contributed to lethal violence, disease, discrimination, forced displacement, injustice and the undermining of people’s right to health. Current cannabis laws are based on ideas about drug use and drug dependence that are not scientifically grounded. They need to change, and doctors must participate in that process as stewards of the public health.” – Dr. Breyer
They also sport a neat chart on their homepage that shows doctors support for marijuana legalization and a percentage of the doctors who answered a certain way who have and who have not tried marijuana for themselves. The chart shows on the negative end that doctors believing it should never be legalized shows that only 6% of those doctors have ever tried it, whereas of those who support full legalization at least 59% had tried it themselves.
Of the goals that Doctors for Cannabis Regulation is hoping for is to discredit some of the stigmas that keep marijuana on the Controlled Substances List, such as testifying to its medical abilities, the fact that prohibition keeps a medicine from people who need it and to explain who continuing prohibition is actually more dangerous to the public health than it is to continue enforcing unprecedented laws.
“Doctors for Cannabis Regulation is an organization whose time has come. Just as public support for cannabis legalization has been growing for the past 40 years, physicians are now increasingly willing to voice their pro-legalization views. Because no national organization has existed to represent them, however, there has often been a vacant seat at the table when legalization and regulation are debated. DFCR is a clarion call for physicians everywhere who want to promote the public health by advocating for smart government regulation of cannabis.” – President of Doctors for Cannabis Reform Dr. David Nathan
This is a pretty historic move forward for cannabis reform – there has never in the past been a group of doctors who have come together on a national level to speak out against prohibition. Assembled by former Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders and Dr. Andrew Weil this group is full of well-known names in the medical industry and all of them have come together because they believe that there is a better way to keep the public safe with regulation over incarceration.