Compassionate Conservatism: The Federal War on Patients

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.”

Forbes.com:

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.

WebMD:

“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.

Reuters:

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.”

Scientific American:

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?

Seattle PI:

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.”

MPP:

“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.”

Seattle Times:

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.”

David Boaz @ Guardian:

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.

Common Dreams/DPA:

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 SacBee:

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.

36 Comments
  1. Marijuana weakens the immune system.

    So you guys have no real scientific testing as well. Just that one report. Why do you promote smoking pot everyday to ease pain when there are other alternatives is realy moronic.
    Stoners.

  2. Also your going to promote people to inhale smoke on a regular basis when they are trying to recover or live through a disease.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MARINOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Or better yet try morphine.

  3. What may be more moronic is accusing someone who doesn’t use marijuana medically or recreationally a stoner.

  4. Hey roger are you a moron or a lesson?? My wife of 11 years is paralized from the waist down for 18 years. She has a condition called “neuropathy” severe nerve pain. She takes 200 mgm’s of methadone a day and oxycontin and dilauded and morphine- all together enough stuff to drop an elephant and a monkey and their keepers–NO RELIEF. once in a while when shes laying there there on the bed rolled up in a ball crying from the pain I go to my neighbors house and he gets her stoned and I put her in a hot bath tub. The only people that are eligable for Marinol are end stage cancer patients-and insurance companys dont cover the 45.00$ dose-it becomes out of pocket-and hanve already been raped by doctors and insurance co.’s and have not 2 pennies to rub togetherhave a nice narrow minded day– Rusty

  5. the most powerful weapon is the truthful history of how MJ become illegal in the first place. I doubt one person in 50,000 knows how and who. It’s powerful.

  6. I was in the Netherlands fourty years ago when cannabis was pried out of the criminal sphere. Ever since cannabis in all its forms and varieties has been allowed, not legalised… There are no ill effects on society, on the contrary, dangerous hard drug use declined. The Netherlands produces bussinessmen and scientists of the highest(pun) order in all fields. A TV quiz/show last month showed that cannabis enhances intelligence. Of course the USA must stay dumb, stupid and ignorant to produce enough stupid poor desperados to fight its wars…

  7. For those who wish to see just how extensively cannabis has been studied, I suggest you go here and read for yourself.

    If you do, you will see that the substance at issue has been studied empirically since 1894. In literally each study, the same conclusions were reached…and in the case of the US, for political reasons, those conclusions were ignored.

    Each refusal to acknowledge the lack of scientific basis for cannabis prohibition which each and every study concluded did not exist, has been a lost opportunity to correct a terrible historical mistake. A mistake that has now cost the American taxpayers at least 200 Billionj dollars sinec 1981. A mistake that has destroyed lives, figuratively and literally, and continues to do so…without the slightest scarp of truth underpinning the justification for doing so.

  8. Too many billions of dollars would be lost if pot is eventually recognized as relatively harmeless…and even medically beneficial.
    Law enforcement loses money and power, and the money some dealers take in likely goes to some of those people most strongly supporting the anti-pot laws. And the drug industry loses money too..
    Follow the money…..

  9. In order to understand the desperate, logic-defying actions of the government to suppress marijuana, you have to understand who is really making the staggering billions of dollars on hard drugs. Read this: http://www.narconews.com/Issue40/article1644.html Catherine Austin Fitts is a former Wall Street insider and Assistant Secretary of HUD; she has been in the belly of the beast and come out to tell it like it is. The Ruling Elites cannot allow a drug that anyone can grow and requires no complex chemical processing to be legal. Even illegal, it is cutting deeply into their heroin and cocaine profits.

  10. Stimulants and depressants can be used to further our society’s master’s aims. Psychedelics, even mild ones like pot, contain the seed of every tyrant’s downfall. So while legal drugs like booze and ciggies kill hundreds of thousands, things like pot and LSD must be demonized even tho they’re almost impossible to overdose on. Isn’t the right to pursue happiness and/or explore spirituality enshrined in our Founding Document by the way?

  11. Did I miss something or did the LP not get a press release out on this issue?
    Thanks,
    M.H.W.

  12. What difference does it make whether or not its harmful? Seriously people, why do you willingly accept that the federal government has the “authority” to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own body. Remember that whole land of the free and personal rights crap? No? Oh, well nevermind then.

    …I need a drink.

  13. Yeah- that’s why the Netherlands are the world leaders of…. well nothing.

    I was in the Netherlands fourty years ago when cannabis was pried out of the criminal sphere. Ever since cannabis in all its forms and varieties has been allowed, not legalised… There are no ill effects on society, on the contrary, dangerous hard drug use declined. The Netherlands produces bussinessmen and scientists of the highest(pun) order in all fields. A TV quiz/show last month showed that cannabis enhances intelligence. Of course the USA must stay dumb, stupid and ignorant to produce enough stupid poor desperados to fight its wars

  14. “Land of the Free” and “Personal Rights” do not appear in any founding document of the United States- Thankfully this country is not governed by hippy-slogans.

    >What difference does it make whether or not its harmful? Seriously people, why do you willingly accept that the federal government has the “authority” to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own body. Remember that whole land of the free and personal rights crap? No? Oh, well nevermind then.

  15. Care to give a specific example? Oh you never read them… You must have been too busy exploring your spirituality to learn how to form a factual statement or point of view.

    > Isn’t the right to pursue happiness and/or explore spirituality enshrined in our Founding Document by the way?

  16. False. The most powerful weapon is the knowledge of how to spin an issue, manipulate the media, play to the emotions of “the mob” and get the rest of the lemmings to bend to your will. Politics, and legality is rarely, if ever concerned with the truth.

    >the most powerful weapon is the truthful history of how MJ become illegal in the first place. I doubt one person in 50,000 knows how and who. It’s powerful.

  17. jef 182 try reading the ninth amendment to the Costitution. And then think about it.
    M.W.

  18. Have any of you narrow minded “lock em up” types ever read the forbes list of richest people? About 10% of them are alcohol and big pharmo drug barrons. These DRUG DEALERS simply do not want competition from a drug that is practically free. They need people to continue to give them billions of dollars every year, so they use their ill gotten gains to bribe our simpering polititions to keep the cheap competition illegal. It is as simple as that. Pretending that alcohol (which kills more people and destroys more families than all the illegal drugs put together) is somehow less harmfull than marijuana is unbelievably hilarious. In our capitalistic society, MONEY DECIDES WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG.

    PLUS, the owners of all the privately owned prisons are not about to let most of their profits walk out the door. These people want to make MORE things illegal so they can get paid with OUR TAX DOLLARS to lock up more and more citizens, and will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  19. Ok, this FDA decision changes very little. Business will go on as usual. The MMJ laws in states that have passed it will continue, and the Feds will continue to make MMJ busts every now and then. You’ll still be able to buy your 8oz at the compassion clubs in SF. I don’t think many people are swayed by this – they know it’s just a political decision and has nothing to do with science.

    There’s an exciting proposition in Nevada which seeks to legalize marijuana for all adults 21 and over. Although it’s a long shot, it’s only a matter of time before such propositions start passing.

    Every year, the percentage of people who believe marijuana should be legalized keeps growing. It’s only a matter of time before states begin legalizing its recreational use. The ballot initiatives are a powerful tool for restoring liberty in the US. I just wish we had Federal ballot initiatives.

    The prohibitionist’s power will expire.

  20. I can’t wait to be able to use marijuana in my foods as you would pepper or any other ediable herb, as a bio-fuel in my car, as trading tender.
    However since Gov through FDA is trying to deny it’s medicinal value, ( which the whole concept of FDA is ludicrous, seeing how they allow “killer drugs” to enter market ) specifically for perhaps pumping up politicians drug and oil stock portfolios. Like these guys are innocent. Who was it that called them “jack-booted thugs”.
    They were right.
    I believe it was Republican Souder of Indiana, ( Vote him out Indy, hint hint )that made the request for FDA to announce it’s disapproval of the herb.
    I just wished the Demopubs would join us Libertarians in this age, instead of last century.
    I plan to vote Libertarian from now on as a conservative. The drug war is a costly failure and people going to prison for marijuana as medicine is not worth it.
    We need to start cutting gov and this is a great place to start.

  21. Lock them all up. Throw away the keys. Resist at your peril. Deny all that seek relief the best advice of their personal doctor. Harass the doctors that dare to challenge the FDA and DEA. Any drug that comes from a plant growing in nature is suspect; only drugs manufactured from toxic chemicals and sold for 1000% profit is accepted. The government knows best – best how to spend you money and best how to treat your pain.

  22. Hmm, shouldn’t the FDA be needing justification to ban a drug, vice its present modus operandi of banning a drug because it’s not justified? Let’s see: allowing a drug, untold liabilities for purveyors of bad drugs, banning a drug, untold costs to the taxpayer for enforcement. tough choice…

  23. lEROY-

    Sorry to say that it didn’t work in NV last time on the ballot. 65-35 or so. Won’t work again, too many asshold red staters and boomers phocking up Nevadas “socially liberal” roots.

  24. THC is illegal because it yields more revenue in that condition. In terms of destructiveness, alcohol is a plague and a blight. The disparity here is the same as it is in all areas of federal control. there is a higher, occulted order
    shaping things here and we the people have little or no voice. The gas prices are as effective as the Denver boot or the national guard at keeping people home for he summer. the war didn’t deterriorate, it is going as planned, and the peopleare the goats, once again. Time for a revision. thanks

  25. We all know this FDA statement doesn’t mean a thing. Recreational users will keep using recreationally, and medical users will keep using for medicinal purposes. Forever, until the end of time, no matter what.

    Now that we’re past that, do you want to know why the U.S. government will never, ever give in? I mean the real reason?

    Think about what would happen if they even halfway gave in, and admitted that there are, in fact, legitimate medical uses of marijuana. Well, first, they’d have to release everyone who was arrested for supplying or using marijuana for medical purposes. In doing so, what do you think they’d say? “Uh… we’re sorry, here’s that 10 years of your life back. Whoops!” That alone is reason enough for them to keep fighting the issue as if it were a deadly plague.

    Then, if that DID happen, it would eventually become legalized because we all know there’s no good reason for it not to be. What about all those recreational users? “We’re sorry!” postcards?

  26. What is funny is the people calling others ‘moronic can’t even type complete sentences. *cough* Roger *cough*

  27. Jef182 obviously has never dealt with pain or hardship.

    Jef182 – how many wars have been started by or in the Netherlands recently? Oh? That’s right none.

    Here in the U.S. we are in a contest to see how many continents we can be fighting wars in at the same time. Now thats being productive!

  28. No wonder the FDA denies the usefulness of marijuana as medicine. The FDA is just another government agency and can’t be expected to be honest because that would buck the drug war orthodoxy. Marijuana arrests are the bread and butter of the drug war. On the average, 700,000 marijuana arrests are made annually, and that’s where the drug war profits lie. For even a light defense, thousands of dollars are spent on attorneys, court time, drug tests, etc. Even when incarceration is avoided, fines are levied. If each marijuana arrestee spends at least $3000 on his/her defense (probably a low number,) then that comes out to over 2 billion dollars, not exactly chump change. If we did away with marijuana prohibition, the bottom of the drug war would fall out since there aren’t enough heroin, meth, and cocaine users to support the monstrous drug war apparatus that soaks up tax money like a drunk soaks up booze. Marijuana is the linchpin in the war on drugs. Follow the money …

  29. 1) If you smoke pot you are criminal.
    2) If you sell pot you are a criminal.
    3) If you sell pot you get rich as a criminal.
    or
    1) If you are Republican you are a criminal.
    2) If you’re a corporate Republican you are a criminal.
    3) If you are a Corporate Republican you get rich as a criminal.
    Which do you like better?

  30. 1) If you smoke pot you are criminal.
    2) If you sell pot you are a criminal.
    3) If you sell pot you get rich as a criminal.
    or
    1) If you are Republican you are a criminal.
    2) If you’re a corporate Republican you are a criminal.
    3) If you are a Corporate Republican you get rich as a criminal.
    Which do you like better? I know the one I like (puff, puff)

  31. if you want to legalize something (or criminalize) you simply need to do what all the political action committees do, buy the congressmen/senators with gifts and campaign donations.

  32. To jef182 and Roger

    Are you guys being sarcastic? If yes, thanks, i had a good laugh! If not: thanks, you are making the drug warriors look more stupid and less credible!

    So basically, thanks anyway!