We posted about the recent FDA statement which dissed the medicinal use of marijuana. Here’s a sampling of what others are saying about it:
From The New York Times:
“We’re going to have members of state legislatures say, ‘But even the F.D.A. has said there’s no medical value,’ ” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which works to loosen drug laws. “That’s where it’s going to hurt.”
The Supreme Court decision killed efforts to allow medical marijuana in Connecticut, Mr. Nadelmann said, adding, “It had no legal impact, but it created a perception.”
A spokesman for John P. Walters, director of the U.S. government’s national drug control policy, said that the FDA’s announcement should help put an end to what he called “the bizarre public discussion” that has led some states to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.
“This is a political statement, not a scientific statement, and the FDA should be embarrassed,” Bruce Mirken, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, tells WebMD.
Tom Riley from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy applauded the move.
“Why does it get a special get-out-of-jail-free card by plebiscite?” he asked. “The medical marijuana ballot initiatives have been attempts to do an end-run around science. Let’s takes it out the political realm and put it back into science where it belongs.”
Medical marijuana is caught in a classic Catch-22 situation: It is banned because the federal government dismisses the evidence of therapeutic benefit as insufficient. But because marijuana is banned, scientists can’t easily gather more evidence to make the case. And new drugs based on marijuana are casualties of the same policies. Meanwhile, patients continue to suffer despite strong evidence that work in this area could lead to better medicines.
How does this seem like a good arrangement? Seriously, what are the feds smoking?
Dr. John Benson, co-chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee that examined the research into marijuana’s effects, said in an interview that the FDA statement and the combined review by other agencies were wrong.
The federal government “loves to ignore our report,” said Benson, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “They would rather it never happened.”
“Sadly, this statement proves how completely politicized the FDA has become,” said MPP Director of Government Relations Aaron Houston. “It completely ignores 5,000 years of accumulated evidence of marijuana’s therapeutic value, evidence that’s been acknowledged by dozens of medical organizations, including the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, and the Institute of Medicine, in a report commissioned by the White House. The statement also baldly misstates the nature and purpose of state medical marijuana laws. This statement adds nothing to our knowledge of medical marijuana, but tells us a great deal about the decline of the FDA as an independent scientific agency.”
Souder, chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Drug Policy, has said the promotion of medical marijuana “is simply a red herring for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.”
The FDA statement noted “there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful. … There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.”
Of course, to a libertarian this medical debate is beside the point. Why should federal bureaucrats be able to decide what treatment a patient will pursue? Each patient should be free to choose his own medicines. It’s one thing for the government to offer information and advice; it’s quite another to threaten to arrest patients who use unapproved medicines or the people who supply those medicines.
In a shocking announcement, the Food and Drug Administration ignored an overwhelming body of evidence to the contrary in its announcement on Thursday that “no sound scientific studies” support the use of medical marijuana. In doing so, the FDA sided with the Drug Enforcement Administration in its escalation of its war on medical marijuana — and the sick and dying who use cannabis to treat various ailments.
The DPA is absolutely correct about the escalation of the war on sick and dying people, as evidenced in the:
Two women who run a Sacramento medical marijuana dispensary said Friday they are willing to go to prison if it means helping patients who seek out cannabis as an alternative medication.
“We took that risk a long time ago,” said Desiree Mott, 23, sitting in front of a store at 2020 16th St. Mott and her business partner, Janelle Daffron, 27, appeared at a press conference to publicize their views.
A small sign on the glass door identifies the store as Awakenings: Books, Stones and More. At the back of the store in another room is the dispensary called Capital Alternatives – an organization Mott said has been open for six years.
“We’re here to help people. Our rights were taken away,” Daffron said.
Both women were at their separate homes Wednesday when Drug Enforcement Association agents entered the downtown store with guns drawn.