Opinions on Medical Marijuana are Diverse

Opinions on Medical Marijuana are Diverse
Posted by CN Staff on July 11, 2007 at 16:05:37 PT
By Paul Boerger
Source: Mount Shasta Herald 
California -- The question of whether marijuana, also known as cannabis, has medical benefits engenders a wide range of often opposing opinions. The federal government denies there is any medical benefit, while some doctors' associations support its use. Other organizations say the issue needs more study. The US Food and Drug Administration, the agency responsible for testing and approving drug products for the country, says marijuana is not FDA approved for any medical treatment and supports its classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin and opium.
“FDA has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease indication. Furthermore, there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful,” the FDA says. “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.”Of marijuana's classification as a Schedule 1 drug, the FDA states, “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.”The California Medical Association, however, supports the medical use of cannabis in “case of medical necessity” and has supported that position by filing court briefs in support of its use.In its official position paper on the issue, CMA says physicians need the freedom to treat patients as they see fit and that marijuana has been shown to be effective treating certain medical conditions.“CMA believes that physicians and their patients must be free to explore all possible avenues of medical treatment when standard therapies have failed, and no governmental body should impede or punish that effort,” said former CMA president Dr. Frank E. Staggers, Sr., an Oakland urologist.Former CMA CEO Dr. Jack Lewin says, “In cases of extreme discomfort or wasting, when patients are undergoing chemotherapy or are suffering from AIDS or other diseases, evidence shows that marijuana can be an effective treatment.”The American Medical Association does not endorse the use of marijuana as a medicine but says certain conditions, “continue to merit further study on the potential medical utility of marijuana.”These conditions include HIV-infected pain relief, nausea and vomiting side effects of medications and chemotherapy, spinal cord injury pain, chronic pain and insomnia.“The AMA calls for further adequate and well-controlled studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients who have serious conditions for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence suggests possible efficacy and the application of such results to the understanding and treatment of disease,” the AMA states.In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Jerome P. Kassirer argues that in cases of patients who suffer pain associated with life threatening illnesses marijuana should be allowed as a treatment and is preferable to the alternatives.“I believe that a federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane. Marijuana may have long-term adverse effects and its use may presage serious addictions, but neither long-term side effects nor addiction is a relevant issue in such patients,” Kassirer wrote. “It is also hypocritical to forbid physicians to prescribe marijuana while permitting them to use morphine and meperidine to relieve extreme dyspnea and pain. With both these drugs the difference between the dose that relieves symptoms and the dose that hastens death is very narrow; by contrast, there is no risk of death from smoking marijuana.” Source: Mount Shasta Herald (CA)Author: Paul BoergerPublished: Wednesday, July 11, 2007Copyright: 2007 Mt. Shasta NewsContact: news mtshastanews.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #7 posted by josephlacerenza on July 11, 2007 at 19:40:05 PT:
One more thing
There are another 60 some functional cannabinoids that have medicinal properties that are not discussed. Not to mention, these other cannabinoiods are not federally regulated by the DEA. Topographical applications of these other cannabinoids can also be used in the treatment of herpies, as well as, other types of skin ailments. Inflammation is another need for these other cannabinoids.
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Comment #6 posted by josephlacerenza on July 11, 2007 at 19:24:13 PT:
They Keep back stepping
First, the statement by the DEA and the FDA is that marijuana has no medically suited purpose, or that the risk of abuse is to great. Then, they move to the terminology that SMOKED cannabis is not good. Smoking is not the only avenue to addministration of cannabinoids. Even aerosalization,or vaporization can be use to inhale cannabis cannabinoids without the side effects of smoked cannabis.WHAT F*CKING WORLD DO WE LIVE IN THAT SUCH A MISS CONCEPTION CAN OCCUR?? Oh, I forgot people still believe that 9/11 was done by the terrorists who do not believe in freedon. Wait, is this not our own government?!!!!!! 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 11, 2007 at 19:23:33 PT
I see they are trying to scare us again. The way I look at fear of more terrorist attacks is yes it could happen. We'd be fools to think that it couldn't happen again but what can we do to stop something unknown? We can't stop the unknown so why should they want to keep scaring us. Being afraid that something might happen can cause us stress and it won't help anything. We will have worries probably forever because countries are upset with us. 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on July 11, 2007 at 18:41:07 PT
Mayan Comment 2
I hope you are, too!
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on July 11, 2007 at 18:20:39 PT
Rudy's Toast!
Firefighters Burn Down Giuliani's Presidential Bid:
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on July 11, 2007 at 18:09:13 PT
I hope I'm way off, but it feels like August of 2001 all over again... Al Qaeda Cell in the U.S. Or On Its Way, According to New Intel: Security Secretary warns "We could easily be attacked" cites summer risks; gut feeling: worry of summer terror attack: for a Terrorist Strike: The GOP's Newest Political Strategy: Administration Prays For More Dead Americans: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Ed Asner and Michelle Phillips Endorse Action on the Eleventh: Truth Graffiti Covers Arkansas Court House; Makes Frontpage News: For 9/11 Truth: For 9/11 Truth: WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
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Comment #1 posted by RevRayGreen on July 11, 2007 at 16:42:00 PT
U.S. House of Representatives will be voting 
"Would you please take one minute to call your member of Congress and ask him or her to vote in favor of the medical marijuana amendment that the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on next week?It's easy: Just call the Capitol switchboard operator at (202) 224-3121. Give the operator your zip code and ask to be connected to your U.S. House member; you don't even need to know your congressperson’s name to do this.When the receptionist for the congressperson — not the Capitol switchboard operator — answers, say something like: "Hi, this is [name]. I live in [city], and I'm calling to ask that my representative vote for Rep. Maurice Hinchey's [HIN-chee's] medical marijuana amendment to the Justice Department's spending bill, which I understand will be considered on the House floor next week. The amendment would prohibit the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to arrest medical marijuana patients in the 12 states where medical marijuana is legal."Please call now: (202) 224-3121Then, please follow up by using MPP's easy online legislative system to e-mail your member of Congress. Calling and e-mailing take only one minute each.The House of Representatives has voted on this amendment the last four consecutive summers, but — since last November’s midterm elections provided the most favorable conditions for passing federal medical marijuana legislation since MPP was founded 12 years ago — this year the amendment has the best chance it has ever had of passing.If you agree that sick and suffering patients should not have to live in fear of armed federal agents breaking down their doors, this is your chance to do something about it. Please call your member of Congress now.And if you haven’t donated to MPP this year, please consider making a donation today in support of our lobbying efforts. MPP's staff is working around the clock, making our final push on Capitol Hill. Our lobbying and grassroots teams are fully deployed, connecting constituents with their members of Congress and sending the message loud and clear: Americans want Congress to stop the DEA from arresting seriously ill patients who are using medical marijuana in compliance with state law.Would you please take one minute to call your congressperson today? Doing so could have a huge impact on the outcome of next week's medical marijuana vote.Sincerely,Aaron Houston Director of Government Relations Marijuana Policy Project Washington, D.C."
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