|Medical Marijuana is Bad Medicine|
Posted by FoM on December 17, 1999 at 21:31:09 PT|
By R. Bruce Upchurch
Source: Des Moines Register
Normally when a new drug is introduced onto the market, vigorous scientific testing is required before it is allowed for public use. This process guarantees that drugs are safe and effective, that the benefits outweigh the risks and that physicians have had sufficient information to permit accurate prescription.
This is particularly important for a drug with a potential for abuse such as marijuana.
But proponents for legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes are not content to subject marijuana to the same high standards of scientific research as for other drugs. Instead, they are using the political process to get their way, and thereby placing the public safety, in particular our youth, at risk with their efforts.
Of the medical research already conducted, there is ample evidence that marijuana causes much more harm than good. A 1997 statement from the Office of National Drug Control Policy stated: "Proponents of [medical marijuana] ballot initiatives present marijuana as a benign substance. However, the latest scientific evidence demonstrates that marijuana is not. Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs and immune system. It impairs learning and interferes with memory, perception and judgment. Smoked marijuana contains cancer-causing compounds and has been implicated in a high percentage of automobile crashes and workplace accidents. Marijuana related visits to hospital emergency rooms have tripled since 1990. Marijuana is also associated with gateway behavior leading to more extensive drug use. This phenomenon poses serious concerns given the significant increase in marijuana use by teenagers."
History has shown that when the public perceives a drug not to be harmful as would clearly be the case if marijuana were viewed as medicine then abuse increases dramatically.
Unfortunately, the marijuana legalization drive has already taken a toll on our young. The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reports nearly half of the teens and children who entered treatment in 1996 were admitted for abuse or addiction to marijuana alone.
And according to a survey conducted by the Iowa Department of Education, regular or heavy use of marijuana by Iowa youth nearly doubled between 1990 and 1996. The last thing Iowa needs is further reinforcement of the view that marijuana is harmless.
But do our efforts to protect Iowa's youth mean that victims of cancer, glaucoma and AIDS are condemned to suffer needlessly?
No. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently eased restrictions on Marinol, a byproduct of marijuana. Barry McCaffrey, director of national drug control policy, said the capsulized form of Marinol is the "safe and proper way" to provide medical relief for sick people. Marinol allows doctors to prescribe a specific dosage, which they cannot set with marijuana use.
In addition, Marinol does not pose the added concern of potential lung damage from smoking marijuana. There are other safe alternatives to smoking pot as well.
In an Aug. 4, 1997, letter to thenGov. Terry Branstad, McCaffrey wrote that "researchers have shown that the main active ingredient in marijuana has precisely the same impact as heroin on a key brain site that influences addiction to many drugs. The same researchers also found that abrupt cessation of longterm marijuana use causes the same kind of cellular withdrawal reaction in lab rats as that produced by other major drugs of abuse."
Given the danger poised by marijuana, it isn’t surprising that the advocates of "medicinal marijuana” would select politics over the long established process of rigorous scientific scrutiny to get their way.
Note: R. Bruce Upchurch is Iowa's Drug Enforcement and Abuse Prevention coordinator. He previously served as a drug interdiction agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Submitted To MapInc By:
News Article Courtesy Of MapInc.
Comment #7 posted by Me, of course on March 22, 2001 at 21:25:41 PT:|
|Dear american Government... please f*** off!! you corrupt everything you come in contact and try to control it for political power. Thanx for listening:)|
[ Post Comment ]
Comment #6 posted by Miguet on December 19, 1999 at 03:32:34 PT:|
First marinol is synthetic THC or the "active" ingredient in marijuana or even more specifically an exact copy of the substance they test for to show that the vegetable matter you are busted with is actually illegal marijuana.
Second He failed to mention that the "downscheduling" of marinol is the VERY FIRST "downscheduling" of ANY DRUG since the inception of the CSA 30 years ago.
Finally,he doesn't seem bothered to say that marinol has been made more easily available [by schedule three you can get refills because "the drug has little potential for abuse"]and the active ingredient [aka. marinol] acts like heroin in the brain in the same breath even though the two statements directly contradict each other!
After reading the words of the war criminals [aka drugwarriors] I feel like washing my brain out with soap!
Comment #5 posted by H. Finkel on December 18, 1999 at 23:44:22 PT:|
Corona del mar,CA
Comment #4 posted by R.Gutierrez on December 18, 1999 at 18:55:58 PT:|
|Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on December 18, 1999 at 08:01:45 PT|
Another thing: considering that the organizations charged with the responsibility of testing cannabis (NIDA, FDA, et al.) have done everything in their power to *avoid* testing it, the guy's premise is false from the git-go. They have actively *blocked* every attempt at an objective (translation: non-governmnetally controlled) study by refusing to provide any of the governmentally grown pot for research. They require researchers to jump through testing protocol hoops that no scientist at Eli Lilly has to do. And then, without a shred of peer-review-and-accepted scientific evidence, they make definitive claims.
There is a name for this, a dark and evil name that scientists cringe to hear when it is directed at them: Lysenkoism.
Lysenko was a Russian geneticist who knew which side of the bread the political butter was on. He had his nose so far up Stalin's a-- that he had to open his mouth to breathe. But his unproven theories, *theories that justified the status quo*, were accepted as Gospel, because Lysenko had Stalin's ear, and could denounce any scientist who dared challenge him. That usually meant that the scientist was taken out and shot.
But here, in America, we have the likes of Orrin Hatch holding up a copy of the MAPS newsletter and denouncing the physicians who wrote it as 'pot-head' doctors'. Lysenko must be laughing his head off from Hell.
|Comment #2 posted by JRT on December 18, 1999 at 07:59:15 PT|
What about Viagra? News sources have widely reported that Viagra was swept through the drug approval process more quickly than any other drug in history. So, it is not surprising to learn that there were several deaths among Viagra users immediately after release into the open market.
Of course, no real testing can be done on marijuana since the government requires marijuana researchers to jump through more hoops than the researchers for other drugs. I know, we can all say that marijuana will give long lasting erections. Maybe that will open up the door for testing.
It is time for the war on (some) drugs to end.
|Comment #1 posted by Dave in Florida on December 18, 1999 at 06:54:16 PT|
That is not what the all the reports that I have read say. The author should read something other than the government propganda. try consumers reports. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm
In an Aug. 4, 1997, letter to thenGov. Terry Branstad, McCaffrey wrote that "researchers have shown that the main
active ingredient in marijuana has precisely the same impact as heroin on a key brain site that influences addiction to
many drugs. The same researchers also found that abrupt cessation of longterm marijuana use causes the same kind of
cellular withdrawal reaction in lab rats as that produced by other major drugs of abuse."
Really!, or are you telling lies again Barry.
What researchers ?