U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CBS medical marijuana may be helpful in treating certain medical conditions.
But he's not explicitly backing legalization.
After Murthy's interview, the Department of Health and Human Services released a statement on his behalf:
While clinical trials for certain components of marijuana appear promising for some medical conditions, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the standards for safe and effective medicine for any condition to date.
It's incredibly difficult for researchers to get approval to look into medical marijuana, and existing research is very limited.
The process of requesting funds is tedious, as prospective researchers must get approval from multiple federal agencies. Getting the go-ahead isn't easy.
Despite the federal ban on marijuana use, 23 states so far have legalized pot for medical purposes.
The White House also hasn't yet commented on Murthy's take.
In January, they told BuzzFeed News, "The Federal Government opposes drug legalization because it runs counter to a public health and safety approach to drug policy."
Watch Murthy's full interview here.
Julie Kliegman is a News Fellow and is based in New York.
Contact Julie Kliegman at Julie.Kliegman@buzzfeed.com.
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