Sunil Aggarwal, PhD And Medical Marijuana Advocate Discusses Geography of Washington Marijuana
Transcript: My name is Sunil Aggarwal. I am a trainee in the medical scientist program at the University of Washington, 4th year medical student, I hold a PhD in medical geography. Recently I was a medical student delegate to the American Medical Association. Cannabis is a botanical medicine that has an established track record of safety, non-toxicity, for 3 millennia of documented history. Effectiveness that has been shown in numerous highly randomized control trials, to case reports from numerous cultures around the world.
The psychologically activating properties of cannabis, which I thought, were important for stress reduction and quality of life. Plus it’s a discovery, its helped us to discover a signaling system, in humans and throughout most living organisms, called the cannabinoid signaling system which is fascinating from a neuro-scientific standpoint for me.
So, what led Dr Aggarwal to the medical cannabis movement?
It began while he was an undergraduate. He says that when he discovered “marijuana wasn’t a horribly dangerous thing” he wanted to study it thoroughly and he has done so for at least the past decade.
When he convinced the UW chapter of the medical student group to support a resolution he had written in support of rescheduling cannabis, he presented the idea and his research to the American Medical Association (AMA) at its annual meeting in 2008. The organization agreed to study the issue for a year.
At its 2009 meeting, the country’s largest physicians’ organization formally adopted a policy urging the federal government to reclassify, or “reschedule,” cannabis.
It was Aggarwal’s research, dissertation, and the two articles derived from it and published in the Journal of Opioid Management that helped convince the American Medical Association (AMA) of the potential for medical uses of cannabis and led the organization to reverse previous policy and call for the rescheduling of cannabis so that more research could be conducted upon it.
So far, the government has not changed its policy and, incredibly, has stepped up efforts to quash medical cannabis production in the states that have legalized it for medical use.
Dr Aggarwal also holds degrees in chemistry, philosophy and religious studies and is a much-sought-after speaker at medical, drug policy reform and other conferences and conventions.