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American Nurses Association Endorses Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana (June 2003)

posted Jan 30, 2013, 10:35 PM by The Editor   [ updated Jan 30, 2013, 10:44 PM ]
In June 2003, the American Nurses Association adopted a position statement entitled "Providing Patients Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis," which reads: 

Therefore Be It Resolved That the American Nurses Association will:
1. Support research in controlled investigational trials on the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana/cannabis, including alternative methods of administration.

2. Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.

3. Support the ability of health care providers to discuss and/or recommend the medicinal use of marijuana without the threat of intimidation or penalization.

4. Support legislation to remove criminal penalties including arrest and imprisonment for bona fide patients and prescribers of therapeutic marijuana/cannabis.

5. Support federal and state legislation to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.

6. Support and encourage the education of registered nurse regarding current, evidence-based therapeutic use of marijuana/cannabis.

The most recent update to the position statement reiterates the American Nurses Association (ANA) support for patients having safe access to therapeutic marijuana.  The statement of position is as follows:

Marijuana (cannabis) has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms in a variety of conditions. Therefore, the American Nurses Association supports:
1.  The education of registered nurses and other health care practitioners regarding appropriate evidence-based therapeutic use of marijuana including those non-smoked forms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that have proven to be therapeutically efficacious.

2.  Protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients using medical marijuana as permitted under state laws.

3.  Exemption from criminal prosecution; civil liability; or professional sanctioning, such as loss of licensure or credentialing, for health care pra  titioners who prescribe, dispense or administer medical marijuana in accordance with state law.

4.  Reclassification of marijuana’s status from a Schedule I controlled substance into a less restrictive category.

5.   Confirmation of the therapeutic efficacy of medical marijuana.


"American Nurses Association Calls for Patient Access to Medical Cannabis/Marijuana." ASA. Americans for Safe Access, 1 July 2003. Web. 31 Jan. 2013. <>.

"In Support of Patients’ Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana." American Nurses Association, 12 Dec. 2008. Web. 30 Jan. 2013. <>.