Marijuana Truths and FDA Lies

Here’s the latest from the Feds on medical marijuana:

Inter-Agency Advisory Regarding Claims That Smoked Marijuana Is a Medicine

Claims have been advanced asserting smoked marijuana has a value in treating various medical conditions. Some have argued that herbal marijuana is a safe and effective medication and that it should be made available to people who suffer from a number of ailments upon a doctor’s recommendation, even though it is not an approved drug.

Marijuana is listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the most restrictive schedule. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which administers the CSA, continues to support that placement and FDA concurred because marijuana met the three criteria for placement in Schedule I under 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1) (e.g., marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision). Furthermore, there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful. A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use. There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.

FDA is the sole Federal agency that approves drug products as safe and effective for intended indications. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act requires that new drugs be shown to be safe and effective for their intended use before being marketed in this country. FDA’s drug approval process requires well-controlled clinical trials that provide the necessary scientific data upon which FDA makes its approval and labeling decisions. If a drug product is to be marketed, disciplined, systematic, scientifically conducted trials are the best means to obtain data to ensure that drug is safe and effective when used as indicated. Efforts that seek to bypass the FDA drug approval process would not serve the interests of public health because they might expose patients to unsafe and ineffective drug products. FDA has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease indication.

A growing number of states have passed voter referenda (or legislative actions) making smoked marijuana available for a variety of medical conditions upon a doctor’s recommendation. These measures are inconsistent with efforts to ensure that medications undergo the rigorous scientific scrutiny of the FDA approval process and are proven safe and effective under the standards of the FD&C Act. Accordingly, FDA, as the federal agency responsible for reviewing the safety and efficacy of drugs, DEA as the federal agency charged with enforcing the CSA, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as the federal coordinator of drug control policy, do not support the use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes.

I’m traveling right now, but I’m sure y’all can rip this bullshit apart better than I could, anyway. Have at it, and cheers!

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

15 Comments
  1. Ah, the worm is turning, again…a bit at a time. The give-away is in the title: “smoked marijuana”.

    Ever since the advent of Sativex, the Big Pharma wonks have been working overtime, jamming their brains to try and come up with spinning away the fact that it’s nothing more than liquid marijuana. And therefore, by derivation, cannabis had medicinal properties all along.

    This latest bald-faced attempt to lie to the public is largely the bailiwick of former Number Two at ONDCP, “Dr.” Andrea Barthwell, who made a lot of money courtesy of her ONDCP salary by saying that cannabis had no medicinal properties, but since she now works for GW Pharmaceuticals, who makes Sativex, she has since changed her tune, and now rails against only ‘smoked marijuana’. Which has become the mantra of the prohibs now. The lies are so threadbare you can see right through them.

  2. “…no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States”?? WTF are the twelve state laws and each physician reccommendation?

    And a therapeutic index of 40,000 isn’t “accepted” as safe?

    “(FD&C) Act requires that *new* drugs be shown to be safe and effective.” So what about those drugs that predate history?

    How was cannabis REMOVED from the USP? Through rigorous scientific study? I don’t think so…

  3. And the debate goes on and on and on….

    The same arguments used by both sides were used in the 1960’s. The old becomes new.

    Just legalize drugs and be done with it, all drugs including prescription drugs should be readily available to all. One just goes in and selects his/her medicine (or in some cases, poison).

    As the old saying goes, a little works wonders, might as well use more and more.

    Let Darwin’s theory – survival of the fittest – go to work. We can cull the weak from society. That’s my position. At least I do side with you who wish to legalize drugs.

  4. Hahaha, I’m with Julian, we need to let Survival of the fittest take it’s toll naturally instead of choosing for everyone where the drugs go.

  5. “There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.”

    This pretty much tells it all. In the above sentence, the FDA shows that they recognize there are certain medical benefits, or medical use. The next question is how does something become an “accepted medical use” disqualifying it from the schedule I definition?

    The sad thing is politicians (bought and paid for) make that decision, not doctors. Many doctors have already accepted and recommended use, at their own risk. Benefits are well documented. MJ has had the longest clinical trial in history, with more particpants than any other drugs, and no directly attributable deaths. While there are certain risk factors and side effects (slower reaction time, munchies, and a increase in risk of lung cancer if used persistently), the risks are favorable to the side effects of other treatments, like morphine, vicodin, muscle relaxants, anti nausea medications.

  6. MJ would be legal if it could only be produced in a lab. Since individuals can grow it, cheaply, the pharmaceutical industry could loose billions.

  7. also what i don’t understand is this…”FDA is the sole Federal agency that approves drug products as safe and effective for intended indications” wasn’t the FDA the agency who released a “miraculous” drugs that killed thousands of people??(sorry i don’t recall the name of that drug) also, how come there is so much death on prescription drugs, if it was approved by the FDA…aren’t they’re suppose to be safe?

    if you make an error in recomending pot to someone, he won’t die of it…for now, i don’t know anybody allergic to it! (sorry if my english is bad, still learning!)

  8. Who writes the schedule of controlled substances?
    The DEA
    Are they doctors?
    No, they are cops
    Cops are not doctors
    And if you thought about having the balls to speak out against it, remember that testosterone is also a scheduled substance.

  9. A Website that lists defective drugs – all of which received initial approval thanks to the FDA’s (ahem!) “…disciplined, systematic, scientifically conducted trials” can be found here

    Given all the flack the FDA has received for essentially being Big Pharma’s lapdog (receiving ‘honoraria’, fudging test results in favor of questionable drugs, etc.) they’ve got no reason to brag.

  10. From CNN.com:

    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. Studies have continually rejected the notion that marijuana is suitable for medical use because it adversely impacts concentration and memory, the lungs, motor coordination and the immune system.”

    The FDA statement noted “there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful.” It also said, “There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.”

    Mirken responded, “There is abundant evidence that marijuana can help cancer patients, multiple sclerosis patients and AIDS patients. There is no scientific doubt that marijuana relieves nausea, vomiting, certain kinds of pain and other symptoms that don’t respond well to conventional drugs, and does it more safely than other drugs.”

  11. “currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful”

    Yeah, I’m sure that most cancer, MS, glaucoma, and AIDS patients are terribly concerned over a little smoke in the lungs… it’s definitely more important than those other pesky effects of chronic pain and nausea.

  12. 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 …