LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The largest group of doctors in California called on Monday for the legalization of marijuana throughout the state.

While the California Medical Association concedes that more study is needed on the medicinal benefits of marijuana, proponents say federal law prohibiting the drug is impeding research efforts.

Dr. James Hay, president-elect of the CMA, told KNX 1070 it’s time to take a hard look at cannabis.

“There are many people who are recommending it for medical purposes, but yet we don’t have adequate information to know safety or the effectiveness of marijuana as a medical product,” said Hay.

The group, while not opposed to federal regulation of marijuana use and distribution, are calling on the government to allow doctors to prescribe the drug directly to patients instead of having to risk sending them out to find the drug on their own.

Hay said doctors also want to feel safe conducting research without the fear of being arrested.

“We would rather that the drug be legal, regulated, and have a oversight method so that we can find out who is using it, who’s prescribing it, and make sure it’s being done the same way we do with other medications,” he said.

Despite a number of studies done in Europe and even a few in the U.S. suggesting there may be at least some medical benefits to marijuana — and Hay wants the ability for doctors to confirm those theories.

“There are many reports that say that there are certain benefits,” said Hay. “They might be limited, but we don’t have enough information to make that decision.”

Comments (3)
  1. Frank says:

    For everyone who is against marijuana, how can you go against doctors who do this for a living to determine whether or not it should be legal? I personally do not use marijuana but if cancer patients and other people with medical issues say it works why keep it away from them as it is relief for their suffering. Would you want someone keeping morphine away from you when in pain? Let the individual decide!

  2. Mike says:

    Compare how many people have been killed either directly or indirectly from alcohol over the past year to how many people have been killed by pot over the past century.

    If it’s a matter of public safety, and health, then by all rights, the legality of booze and pot should be reversed.

    But no, pot can’t be legalized with the same, stringent regulations as alcohol, because, um…well…because POT IS JUST BAD, MMMKAY?

    No, pot is illegal for many, many reasons, and health, nor public safety are among them.

  3. martin sloan says:

    GOD’s gift to the HU-MAHNS.

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