Rhode Island: Physicians' Organization Throws Support Behind Marijuana Legalization Effort
Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, an organization led by some of the most prominent physicians in the country, has formally endorsed the effort to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use in Rhode Island.
The addition of DFCR to the Regulate Rhode Island coalition comes at a pivotal time, just as state lawmakers are considering legislation to end marijuana prohibition.
Members of DFCR’s leadership team include former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders; integrative medicine pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. H. Westley Clark, former director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; Dr. Chris Beyrer, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights; Dr. Lester Grinspoon, associate professor emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; Dr. David Lewis, professor emeritus of Medicine and Community Health at Brown University; Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital; and Dr. David Nathan, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and clinical associate professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
“Our over-reliance on the criminal justice system has caused needless harm to families and communities without meeting its goals," said Dr. David Lewis, founder of Brown University Center for Alcohol Studies and professor emeritus of Community Health and Medicine, Brown University Alpert Medical School. "The public already ‘gets it’, that the War On Drugs has failed.”
“By any objective measure, cannabis is far less harmful than alcohol," said Dr. James Crowley, former president of the Rhode Island Medical Society, member of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, and co-chair of Regulate Rhode Island. "Given what the science tells us, it makes no sense to continue criminalizing marijuana and punishing adults who use it responsibly.
"Prohibiting cannabis has created an out-of-control illicit market that undermines public health and safety," Dr. Crowley said. "It is time for us to take a new approach.”
“Doctors for Cannabis Regulation is proud to stand with Regulate Rhode Island in calling for a more sensible approach to cannabis policy," said Dr. David Nathan, founder and president of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. "Our organization believes that you don’t have to be ‘pro-marijuana’ to oppose its prohibition.
"It is clear that the prohibitionist approach causes more harm to society than marijuana itself," Dr. Nathan said. "The public health benefits of legalizing and regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol are significant, and we think it is time for Rhode Island and the rest of the country to take steps toward reforming the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”