Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 10/17/2011 04:37:05 PM PDT

The leader of a Rancho Cucamonga-based group that has been fighting all marijuana legalization efforts is blasting the California Medical Association recommendation to decriminalize and regulate marijuana.

Proponents at the 35,000-member California Medical Association say proper research after decriminalization would result in data that doctors need to prescribe precise dosages, and to better understand the chemical compounds that may be helping treat illnesses.

Physicians, they say, should have access to better research not possible under current federal drug policy.

But critics, like Paul Chabot, president of the Coalition for a Drug Free California, said the CMA recommendation would harm society.

“Research has shown marijuana use has been linked to testicular cancer, schizophrenia, and depression,” Chabot said. “It’s because of so-called medical marijuana, we now have the highest use-rate for kids in America.”

Chabot, who said his group has more than 1,000 members, called on doctors to tear up their CMA membership cards “in light of leadership’s pro drug legalization stance.”

“What an irresponsible and unethical position the CMA has taken,” Chabot said. “This flies in the face of science, public health and common sense. It now appears drug money has reached some of this organization’s more influential leaders.”

Marijuana, or cannabis, is currently listed as a Schedule I drug by the federal government, a classification that restricts the ability to research and gather data about the substance, said Steven Larson, chairman of the CMA board and a Riverside physician.

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