Tidbits on Drug Policy

Another two cents thrown in

The drawbacks of treatment with medicinal marijuana

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Here is an interesting argument against medicinal marijuana, mainly on the grounds that smoking a therapeutic substance isn’t a safe and uniform method of administration:

“If marijuana has therapeutic potential, it should be required to pass muster with the F.D.A. like any other medicine. We have considerable experience with making drugs from plant material, including the opium poppy. We don’t authorize patients to smoke ( or vaporize ) opium for medical purposes; rather, we require that opiate products, including morphine for pain relief and paregoric for diarrhea, be standardized, controlled for quality, fully tested, delivered in an appropriate manner and shown to be safe and effective. Why should marijuana be any different?”

Source:: NYT OPED: Crackpot Legislation

The author’s reasoning is medically sound; however, as far as I understand, the problem is that no marijuana derivative (i.e.: Marinol) in existence has been found just as effective as smoking marijuana. Smoking pot definitely has all the drawbacks that are described in Henry I. Miller’s article – but it still remains the only truly effective method of alleviating symptoms of many debilitating conditions. So far, there hasn’t been a single recorded death attributed to marijuana. Thus, it is no wonder that many patients choose an admittedly imperfect, but a relatively safe treatment over no treatment at all. Legalizing marijuana would certainly allow more research into its therapeutic effects and will allow development of medications that will better address Henry Miller’s concerns.

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