FDA Further Consigns Medical Marijuana Users to Living Hell (Drug Warriors, Come Out and Pla-a-a-a-y Edition)

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The FDA said in a statement that it and other agencies with the Health and Human Services Department had "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."

A number of states have passed legislation allowing marijuana use for medical purposes, but the FDA said, "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."

The statement contradicts a 1999 finding from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, which reported that "marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea, the anorexia of AIDS wasting and other symptoms, and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials."

The man behind this message? Drug warrior Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) was behind this effort. More, including good quotes from the folks at the Marijuana Policy Project, here.

Reason on medical marijuana madness here, here, and here. And even more here.

NEXT: Sorry About That, Suri

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  1. Jeez.

    I’m sorry, but I would have thought that authors at Reason knew basic logic. The statements:

    1. Marijuana should be tested for safety and effectiveness
    2. Marijuana has not been tested for safety and effectiveness

    are not contradictory.

    Dang. I’m pro-legalization but this sort of dishonesty doesn’t help. It’s the sort of thing that makes legalization supporters look like stupid stoners.

  2. Data my ass. I would be absolutely embarassed had I ever turned in “data” like theirs to a professor in conjunction with such a vapid “analysis.”

    We’re here, we’re high, get used to it.

  3. I hope Mark Souder gets cancer. Painful cancer. People like him stopped people I know from getting the stuff for pain mitigation for their cancer. So I hope he goes through every bit as much pain.

    (Unchristian of me, eh? Well, I’m not a Christian, so I’m at liberty to say out loud what many Christians can only think.)

  4. “..and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use.”

    I wonder how they get the lab rats to smoke the tiny joints?

    And what about performance? I bet the stoned rat is always going to be the first to find the Cheeto.

  5. I’m sorry, but I would have thought that authors at Reason knew basic logic. The statements:

    Marijuana should be tested for safety and effectiveness

    Marijuana has not been tested for safety and effectiveness

    are not contradictory.

    First, it looks to me like the only people who said anything was contradictory was Yahoo! News, not Reason. Second, I believe they’re referring to the part where the FDA states that “no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States.” The National Academy of Sciences found the opposite of that. Thus they are contradictory.

  6. Even though cannabis is safe and effective for some people and some indications, I doubt smoked cannabis will never win FDA approval for any treatment, because it has a high rate of ‘adverse’ effects. I’m not talking about cancer, heart disease, or COPDs associated with tobacco smoking — which apparently are not associated with cannabis smoking– but the more common and well-established ones like coughing, dry bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, tachycardia, dizziness, temporary impairment of short-term memory, and sedation. Also, a significant portion of people who smoke cannabis experience anxiety, sometimes severely. For instance, in Flach (2002), 4 of the 9 patients eventually withdrew because the found the side effects unpleasant.

    Flach, 2002. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the treatment of end-stage open-angle glaucoma. Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society 100:215-22.

    Most of these effects are mediated by THC acting on CB1 receptors, and so will occur to some extent no matter what the mode of delivery of THC (e.g. vapor, sublingual, transdermal patch), and would probably occur with any CB1 agonist that is delivered systemically.

  7. I doubt smoked cannabis will never win FDA approval

    Never should be ever.

    And my comments were only about FDA appoval — I certainly think any adult should have the right to roll fatties all they like.

  8. The FDA said in a statement that it and other agencies with the Health and Human Services Department had “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.”

    Left unspoken is the fact that folks like Rep Souder are blocking any effort to perform the tests.

    it has a high rate of ‘adverse’ effects … but the more common and well-established ones like coughing, dry bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, tachycardia, dizziness, temporary impairment of short-term memory, and sedation.

    Sounds like the allergy meds. Seriously, read the warning label on any drug. This is minor league.

    Also, a significant portion of people who smoke cannabis experience anxiety, sometimes severely.

    Given that the Feds are liable to blow open their doors and lock them away for decades, I’d expect a little anxiety. What are the side effects of concussion grenades and M-16s?

  9. speedwell,

    I don’t care if you’re unchristian or not, but when you say things like that you make yourself, and by association, the people who agree with you, sound like an ass.

    Rhetoric like that has a tendency of convincing people the other side is right.

  10. Brian24,

    I think you need to re-read the original post. The Academy of Science did not find that pot was safe and effective – they said it was potentially safe and effective and should be studied.

  11. Mike,

    I read it. The Academy found that it was potentially safe and effective. The gist of the FDA’s statement is that it is NOT potentially safe and effective.

    Perhaps we could compromise by agreeing that the two statements are contradictory in spirit, if not in letter.

  12. Sounds like the allergy meds. Seriously, read the warning label on any drug. This is minor league.

    I’ve taken many allergy medications, and while they share a few of the side effects of cannabis (particularly the anticholinergic effects), none of them made me particularly anxious or impaired my short-term memory to same degree cannabis does.

    Given that the Feds are liable to blow open their doors and lock them away for decades, I’d expect a little anxiety.

    Its abundantly clear that the anxiogenic effect of THC is not completely attributable to fear of law enforcement. For instance, it shows up routinely in studies where the THC is being administed legally and there is absolutely no risk of legal trouble. And of course, most of us who have smoked pot with a large sample of people a large number of times have observed people freak out for reasons that have nothing to do with fear of the law — for instance, because they percieved (usually wrongly) that their hearts were beating too fast, or because they think their face is numb. I’ve never seen anyone freak out, have a panic attack, or lose the ability to speak coherently — though I’ve seen some weird behavior after consuming mass quantities of ‘tussin.

  13. I read it. The Academy found that it was potentially safe and effective. The gist of the FDA’s statement is that it is NOT potentially safe and effective.

    Perhaps we could compromise by agreeing that the two statements are contradictory in spirit, if not in letter.

    The IOM statement clearly refers to the “active ingredients” in cannabis, like THC and CBD, while the FDA refers to good old fashioned bulk cannabis. THC is already FDA approved, of course, if just happens to suck because it is delivered orally. IIRC, marinol inhaler has been developed but not brought to market. That would certainly be far preferable to the oral route.

  14. Anxiety is a fairly common side-effect from pot use. It’s not uncontrollable and frankly if given the choice between the side effects of alcohol (from drunken belligerence to hangovers to death) I’d go with pot anytime.

    Some of the anxiety is law enforcement/job related, and some is chemically induced. Like with alcohol use, I’d suspect that most pot users would settle into a “Workable” dose that gets them high but rarely triggers anxiety. (The pot equivilant of a few beers after work…)

    It’ll be legal — or more accurately, ‘decriminalized’ — sooner or later.

  15. The Academy looks at smoked marijuana and the FDA looks at THC; they find different results. Even if there were not legal and political issues, I can understand why this could happen — there is more in marijuana smoke than THC!

  16. The FDA has no credibility.
    Marijuana bad, Ritalin good…ROFL!

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