|WISCONSIN NURSES ASSOCIATION
Subject: Access To Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis Introduced
By: Carol Graham, RN, Milwaukee District
Summary: A small number of persons would have an opportunity to gain access to therapeutic
marijuana/cannabis as a form of treatment for their health problems when all other forms
of treatment fail. Rationale for making cannabis a legally prescribed medicine includes:
Cannabis/marijuana, etc. has been used medicinally for centuries and that cannabis was
widely prescribed by physicians in the United States until 1937.
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 completely prohibited all medicinal use of marijuana
by placing it in the most restrictive category of Schedule I. Drugs must meet three
criteria for placement in this category: 1) have no therapeutic value, 2) are not safe for
medical use, and 3) have a high abuse potential.
Thirty-six states have passed legislation recognizing marijuana's therapeutic value.
Marijuana has been reported to be effective in: a) reducing intraocular pressure in
glaucoma, b) reducing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, c)stimulating the
appetite for patients living with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and suffering
from the wasting syndrome, d)controlling spasticity associated with spinal cord injury and
Marijuana seems to work differently from many conventional medications for the above
problems, making it a possible option for persons resistant to conventional medications.
Patients not helped by conventional medications and treatments may find relief from their
suffering with the use of marijuana if their primary care providers were able to prescribe
this as a treatment medication for specific diseases such as those cited above.
Recommendations: The Wisconsin Nurses Association
1. Urges the Governor of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Legislature to move expeditiously to
make cannabis available as a legally prescribed medicine where shown to be safe and
WNA Goal #1: Collectively and collaboratively advocates for access to comprehensive
quality health care services for all people.
Fiscal Note: $20.00 for correspondence to Governor and Wisconsin Legislators.
1. Abel EA.Marihuana: The First
Twelve Thousand Years. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982.
2. Mikuriya TH, ed. Marijuana:
Medical Papers 1839-1972. Oakland, CA: Medic-Comp Press, 1973.
3. Controlled Substances Act of
1970 (Pub. L. 91-513, October 27, 1970, 21USC801 et seq.).
4. Alliance for Cannabis
Therapeutics. No accepted medical value?? ACT News. Spring, 1995.
5. Grinspoon L, Bakalar JB,
Marihuana as Medicine: A plea for reconsideration. JAMA. 1995; 273 (23:1875-1876).
6. Colasanti BK. Review: Ocular
hypotensive effect of marihuana cannabinoids: Correlate of central action or separate
phenomenon. J. Ocular Pharmacol. 1986;2(3):295-304.
7. Sallan Se, Zinberg NE, Frei III
E. Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabionol in cancer chemotherapy. New Engl J.
8. Nelson K, Walsh E. Deeter
P, et al. A phase II study of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabionol for appetite stimulation in
cancer-associated anorexia. J. Palliative Care. 1994;10(1):14-18.
9. Clifford DB.
Tetrahydrocannabinol for tremor in multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 983:13:669-671.
10. Mechoulam R, ed. Cannabinoids
as Therapeutic Agents, Boca Raton, FL; CRC Press, 1986.
Adopted 10/29/99 Wisconsin Nurses Association Annual Meeting