The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine has issued a formal position statement recommending the rescheduling of marijuana from a schedule I to a schedule II substance. This, according to the ASRA, will facilitate the conduct of more clinical outcomes research which is essential to the determination of the safety and efficacy of marijuana as a therapeutic intervention for pain. The ASRA Board of directors approved the “ASRA Statement on Cannabis” at its most recent meeting on September 30. In addition to the dearth of clinical evidence, the ASRA notes that disparities between Federal and State statutes on the use of cannabis for medical purposes places clinicians in a difficult ethical and legal position.
In its Executive Summary, the ASRA Statement on Cannabis notes that expanded research is urgently needed to “…aid in the development marijuana-based agents that have minimal psychoactive properties and minimal association side effects, while retaining its beneficial therapeutic effects.” In addition, the ASRA states that comparative studies of cannabis are needed to establish the clinical efficacy and safety of marijuana against other classes of analgesics.
A news story with link to the ASRA position paper may be read here.