Michael Bloomberg's Astonishing Ignorance on the Subject of Medical Marijuana

NORMLNORMLOn Monday the New York State Assembly approved the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would allow people suffering from "serious conditions" such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis to use marijuana for symptom relief. The 95-to-38 vote came three days after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed the medical use of cannabis as "one of the great hoaxes of all times." Mike Riggs noted Bloomberg's remarks on Friday, but it is worth highlighting how woefully misinformed this supposedly smart and scientifically sophisticated technocrat is on the subject of marijuana's therapeutic utility. First of all, note that Bloomberg was not merely complaining that some people fake symptoms so they can get the doctor's note that is required to obtain cannabis from dispensaries in states such as California and Colorado. Here is the exchange he had with radio host John Gambling on Friday :

Gambling: I think it's been very interesting to watch...the push here in [New York] and across America to legalize marijuana—medical marijuana.

Bloomberg: Yeah, right, medical, my foot [?]. Come on. There's no medical. This is one of the great hoaxes of all times.

It is worth listening to the podcast of the show (beginning at the 21:20 mark) just to hear the haughty derision dripping from the billionaire busybody's voice. Contrary to what his dismissive tone suggests, Bloomberg has no idea what he's talking about.

Cannabis has been employed as a medicine for thousands of years, and it is beyond serious dispute that the plant has useful therapeutic properties. Back in 1985, the Food and Drug Administration approved Marinol, a capsule containing a synthetic version THC, marijuana's main active ingredient, for treatment of the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Seven years later the FDA approved Marinol for treatment of AIDS wasting syndrome. There are various reasons why some patients prefer cannabis to capsules, having to do with ease of administration, quickness of onset, the ability to adjust doses, cannabinoids absent from Marinol, and the psychoactive effects of THC metabolized by the liver. In any case, FDA approval of Marinol means controlled, double-blind clinical trials have shown that the main active ingredient in marijuana relieves nausea and restores appetite. Other research has shown that cannabis is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis, an application for which the cannabis extract Sativex has been approved in several countries. There is also evidence that marijuana relieves spasticity in M.S. patients and various other painful conditions.

Although Bloomberg evidently is unaware of this evidence, it has had a noticeable impact on medical opinion, as the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) notes:

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg ran afoul of medical science when he called medical marijuana "one the great hoaxes of all time." A day earlier, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine released a survey of physicians finding that 76% of those surveyed would approve medical marijuana for use to reduce pain in a cancer patient. That same day NY Physicians for Compassionate Care announced that more than 600 New York physicians from all across state support medical marijuana and want to be able recommend its use to seriously ill patients who might benefit from its use.

Even the Office of National Drug Control Policy concedes marijuana's medical potential, although it questions the propriety of letting patients consume the whole plant as opposed to FDA-approved derivatives. Yet Bloomberg claims the whole thing is a hoax, one clever and elaborate enough to dupe not just 95 New York legislators but the National Academy of Sciences, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Federation of American Scientists, and the federal government's leading marijuana expert, among others. Bloomberg managed to outrun this ever-widening consensus because he watches his diet and is unencumbered by facts.

Bloomberg's arrogance is, if anything, more infuriating than his ignorance. He would force seriously ill people to suffer rather than find relief in an arbitrarily proscribed plant, even when their doctors agree that the treatment is appropriate. The Compassionate Care Act, which still being considered by the New York State Senate, would create what DPA describes as "one the most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs in the country." It would be open only to people with "a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition" such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, Crohn's disease, or arthritis. They would need a doctor's approval to obtain a state-issued ID entitling them to possess up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana, which they would have to grow on their own or with the help of a caregiver. There would be no dispensaries with seemingly healthy young men going in and out to offend Bloomberg's sensibilities. But even this strictly regulated system is too much for the mayor. Then again, this is a guy who finds 20-ounce sodas intolerable.

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  • JW||

    You had me at 'Bloomberg's Astonishing Ignorance.'

    His arrogance is pretty gob-smacking, too.

  • Aresen||

    Four words suffice.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Yeah, I came to post that the entire article could have stopped with "Michael Bloomberg's Astonishing Ignorance"

    Kinda sums up the entirety of the man right there.

  • ||

    Bloomberg is the worst possible combination of private and public success. He became a billionaire, which is going to make anybody kind of arrogant. And then he became the mayor of one of the biggest and most important cities in the world. Every horrific, busybody, I-know-what's-best-for-everyone tendency is going to come out in waves in someone like that.

    Fuck Mikey. I hope ceasing to be mayor makes him haz a sad. A huge sad. Unless, of course, he figures out a way to get a fourth term.

  • Hyperion||

    Fuck Mikey. I hope ceasing to be mayor makes him haz a sad. A huge sad. Unless, of course, he figures out a way to get a fourth term

    He'll just pop up somewhere else to stick his nose into other peoples business. You can't really get rid of people like this, until they die.

  • ||

    Why wouldn't he just run for governor next? It's about 95% the same population.

  • sarcasmic||

    Unless, of course, he figures out a way to get a fourth term.

    First he must get Wiener off his ass.

  • Let Me Ride||

    Unlikely. I'm afraid he's stuck.

  • kinnath||

    We've already determined that his next assignment is to head to Syria and solve all their problems.

  • sarcasmic||

    Can he take his private army with him?

  • kinnath||

    He gets a camera crew and whatever else he can fit into one 747. Survivor has already bought the TV rights.

  • Inigo M.||

    Maybe he can do a power swap with Assad. Nanny McBee will go take the reins in Syria and clean up everyone's eating habits there, and Assad will come take over as NYC mayor and stage a revival of the old time city officials model, back when they just treated the public coffers as personal spending accounts and took bribes from the mob, but otherwise left everyone alone.

  • Loki||

    Unless, of course, he figures out a way to get a fourth term.

    Bloomberg for president, 2016.

    DESPAIR.

  • Inigo M.||

    No doubt Nanny McBee would use surveillance powers only to make sure everyone follows a healthy diet. He'd sic the IRS on fast food franchise owners and dole out government grants to managers of Whole Foods and Trader Joes.

  • Hyperion||

    Last week, Mayor Bloomberg ran afoul of medical science

    He agrees with the scientists, except for when he decides to know better than them.

  • Zeb||

    Science can tell us that guns are bad. But not that a particular plant has medicinal uses.

  • Inigo M.||

    Which makes him exactly like everyone else of his political persuasion. The all celebrate science and rationality as long as it supports what they already believe. If it challenges any of their assumptions then they are too smart to be fooled by it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Guys like Bloomberg don't listen to facts and then form an opinion. They skip right to step two.

  • ||

    Bloomberg's arrogance is, if anything, more infuriating than his ignorance. He would force seriously ill people to suffer rather than find relief in an arbitrarily proscribed plant, even when their doctors agree that the treatment is appropriate.

    So Mikey takes pleasure in denying suffering people a drug that will make them feel better. He's like King Joffrey: everyone is his to torment.

  • Hyperion||

    When he is suffering immeasurably on his (very short) little death bed, let's hope someone has the compassion to withhold any pain killing medication from him, for his own good, of course.

  • sarcasmic||

    That would require there to be justice in this world. The fact that there is none in this world is, in my opinion, why people invented the idea of an afterlife. So people like him will see justice. Except that they won't. Because there is no such thing.

  • John Galt||

    It couldn't happen to someone more deserving.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If only Bloomy would get slapped. Over and over again.

  • John Galt||

    YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD! YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!

  • sarcasmic||

    My stepson came at me with that attitude this weekend. So I took his laptop and sent him to his room.

  • Zeb||

    So, are you saying that that is what Bloomberg is going to do to John Galt?

  • John Galt||

    If he could, he'd probably love to have all our computers seized.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, why does anyone need a 2 terabyte hard drive, or 32G of RAM, or a 25" monitor, and high speed internet?

    People should be content with just a low power consumption dumb terminal box, where they can view the official government sanctioned news.

    These high capacity multi-use computers are dangerous and should be banned.

    /Bloomturd

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    This really is a question of national security. These computers can bring down an airplane or blow up a train.

    /JerkoffJackson

  • John Galt||

    Sometimes it's fun to be nostalgic and reminisce about how awesome it was to move up to a Windows 3.1 laptop from the Mac SE.

    Man, we'll never have days like those again.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Bloomberg's arrogance is, if anything, more infuriating than his ignorance. He would force seriously ill people to suffer rather than find relief in an arbitrarily proscribed plant, even when their doctors agree that the treatment is appropriate.

    Look Sullum, did those doctors ever make a billion dollars? Did they ever get elected mayor of the world's largest city? No. They did not. So who's smarter, them or Bloomberg?

  • Hyperion||

    Except that he isn't the mayor of the worlds largest city.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Forget it, he's rolling.

  • Jon Lester||

    He's only had to be smarter than his constituents. Winning three terms means he doesn't have to care that the rent is too damn high.

  • John Galt||

    The rent is high? What's important here is dopers don't think they can use some serious illness as excuse to be high!

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Jeez, Hugh, don't you learn. NYC is NOT the largest city in the world. You're dumber than TulpyPoo

  • John Galt||

    Maybe his world is the USA.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But it's still the capital of the world, right?

  • John Galt||

    According to nyc.gov, NYC is still the capital of the world.

  • Zeb||

    If any city is, it's probably NYC.

  • ||

    America, the world, does it really matter?

  • Hyperion||

    Tulip would know that NYC is the biggest city in da murl, cause it's in Murika, so it's the only one where all the people in the city don't pee in their drinking water, and so not count as a real city, like in Murika.

  • ||

    Unless of course Ke$ha is in town...

  • Hyperion||

    I had this premonition that someone was going to mention Ke$ha. But I heard she likes her pee straight, not the watered down stuff.

  • John Galt||

    A friend who lives in Hollywood told me some time ago that a celebrity he was working for supplying security had thrown a party at which the guests had been tasting cups of urine. So when the Ke$ha video came up it wasn't much of a surprise.

  • ||

    Heard, you can watch it on the youtubes. People who like Ke$ha and watersports can thank me later.

  • wareagle||

    evidently Mayor Dumbfuck doesn't know that the patent for medicinal marijuana is held by the feds, and it lists a host of conditions whose patients could benefit in some way.

  • Brandon||

    Speaking of astonishing ignorance:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....iumph.html

    Any guess who wrote it?

  • Hyperion||

    I couldn't get past the title...

  • wareagle||

    you gotta try...and the comments, pure gold.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Bloomie: How dare you ingest substances I don't approve of? You fuckers are going to take morphine and get a addicted, LIKE REAL FUCKIN' AMERICANS!

  • ||

    Contrary to what his dismissive tone suggests, Bloomberg has no idea what he's talking about.

    He knows exactly what he's talking about. Control. You think he actually gives a shit about dope?

  • John Galt||

    Dope is one of the tools that helps him seize the control he craves. He most likely cares a great deal about it.

  • sarcasmic||

    If marijuana was legal he wouldn't be able to use his private army put niggers and spics in their proper place: jail.

  • John Galt||

    Although Nixon called it a "war" it's roots go much deeper. All the way deep down into the Progressive substrate, and the fear that if Johnny and Susie take drugs, then the next thing you know they'll be adopting all the other kinds of "colored" behaviors. The war on drugs has been a racist endeavor from it's conception.

  • Sandman||

    My only defense of Bloomberg in this case would be this. No, medical marijuana is not a hoax, and it obviously has medical uses. But medical use is not the reason people want it legalized. They want medical marijuana so that they move one step closer to full marijuana legalization. The hoax isn't the drug, it's the way that medicinal uses are being used to further the larger goal.

    (Note: I fully support the legalization of marijuana and pretty much all drugs)

  • BakedPenguin||

    I'm sure many people were simply trying to get the camel's nose under the tent, but there were plenty of people who wanted medical marijuana for it's own sake. For example, Peter McWilliams.

  • Matrix||

    No, Bloomberg. The greatest hoax of all time is government.

  • Hyperion||

    I had this day dream that people were posting all day and there was no Tony or Shreek. Strange that was...

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    NOOOOO!!! YOU'LL SUMMON THE DERP! YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!!!

  • Hyperion||

    Shit!

  • sarcasmic||

    He was in the climate change article's comments.

  • Hyperion||

    See, this is just another reason why I never read Baileys climate reports, it truly does summon the derp.

  • grubbsdonna77||

    my roomate's aunt makes $79/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 6 months but last month her check was $21084 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site.... http://www.Taz1.com

  • Hyperion||

    Who needs your aunts roommate, your mom blows me all night for free.

  • WomSom||

    Now thats what I am talking about dude. WOw.

    www.WorldPrivacy.tk

  • Paul Pot||

    A close friend died of Lymphoma. I would take her little bits. She told me it helped her "put the pain to one side". Once she was bedridden I could no longer give her anymore. Her last words were "more morphine".

    To deny people their medicine in time of great need is no different to beating someone with a stick or holding them under water. It is torture and murder on a mass scale that happens as the result of wide spread harassment and persecution of groups in the community. That means that prohibition is a "Crime Against Humanity" and the people responsible know exactly what they have done.

    We must do all we can to end the drug war as soon as possible and when it is over we must not fail to put the criminals responsible on trial.

  • ReasonChaz||

    From one of the Bilderbergs himself, and their primary mission is the depopulate the world my 90%. Like so many of the New World Order Elite, Bloomberg is such a disingenuous sociopath. I'm surprised though, that even he tries to get away with perpetuating this unscientific lie.

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