The American health care system frequently fails to address patient’s specific health care needs. As an organization committed to the advancement of world class medical research at the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Israel, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. stands with doctors and patients calling for the federal legalization of medical marijuana.
HMO is at the forefront of groundbreaking cannabis research, as one of its physicians, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam pioneered the re-isolation of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive compound in cannabis. It has been used in Israel to treat epilepsy, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and sugar levels for Diabetes I patients.
More than 20 years have passed since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. What has followed is a domino effect of states legalizing medical marijuana based on California as a case study that cannabis can provide relief for a variety of conditions. As of April 2017, 29 states have legalized marijuana in some form, bringing patients relief and expanding the authorization of choices in treatment they receive, based on the doctor-patient relationship.
Yet, a complete understanding of the benefits of medical marijuana are severely limited as the cannabis plant and its products are designated as a Schedule I drug, preventing any large-scale research on patients. Thorough research to understand proper usage and potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients is critical to federal legalization of cannabis. Today, many Americans support legalization of medical marijuana.
Therefore, Hadassah calls for:
- federal legalization of medical marijuana, so that patients in every state may benefit from medical marijuana
- reframing of medical marijuana policy as a doctor-patient decision; and
- research to fully investigate the potential benefits of medical marijuana.