Friday, April 21, 2006

FDA rejects medicinal use of marijuana

Agency contradicts scientists, jumps into a political struggle

By GARDINER HARRIS
THE NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that "no sound scientific studies" supported the medical use of marijuana, contradicting a 1999 review by a panel of highly regarded scientists.

The announcement inserts the health agency into yet another fierce political fight.

Susan Bro, an agency spokeswoman, said that the statement resulted from a past combined review by federal drug enforcement, regulatory and research agencies that concluded that "smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment." She said that the FDA was issuing the statement because of numerous inquiries from Capitol Hill but would likely do nothing to enforce it.

"Any enforcement based on this finding would need to be by DEA, since this falls outside of FDA's regulatory authority," she said.

Opponents of efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal uses suggest that marijuana is a "gateway" drug that often leads users to try more dangerous drugs and become addicted.

But the Institute of Medicine report concluded that there is no evidence that marijuana acts as a "gateway" to harder drugs. And it said that there was no evidence that medical use of marijuana would increase its use among the general population.

Dr. Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California-Irvine, said that he had "never met a scientist would who will say that marijuana is either dangerous or useless." He said that studies clearly show that marijuana has some benefits for some patients.

"We all agree on that."

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At 9:06 PM, Blogger Syn Diesel said...

May I share a story about life in 21st Century American communities?

"Helloooo Miss Bittlefrumpy"


A man arrives home after a hard day's work. While greeting his wife and young son on the steps to his house he notices his nosey neighbor Miss Bittlefrumpy looking out her window in his direction from behind half drawn blinds, and can only roll his eyes after greeting her with a nod and a 'helloooo Miss Bittlefrumpy'.

He's an avid homebrewer and breaks out a sixpack of his own bottled house special which he brewed in a 20 gallon beer still in his backyard workshop. Exhausted and sweaty, he decides to sit on his front porch to enjoy the early evening summer breeze along with his dog, Hops the Killer Chihuahua. He peacefully relaxes in his rockingchair, sipping on a cold one.

Life is good.







A man arrives home after a hard day's work. While greeting his wife and young son on the steps to his house he notices his nosey neighbor Miss Bittlefrumpy looking out her window in his direction from behind half drawn blinds, and can only roll his eyes after greeting her with a nod and a 'helloooo Miss Bittlefrumpy'.

He's an avid horticulturist and breaks out a skunky bud of his own pruned house special which he harvested from a pound's worth of plantlets he grows on his kitchen windowsill. Exhausted and sweaty, he decides to sit on his front porch to enjoy the early evening summer breeze along with his dog, Hempster the Killer Chihuahua. He peacefully relaxes in his rockingchair, toking on a tight one.

Life is good. Or so it seems.


20 minutes passes by when he hears a rumble approaching from down the road, in the direction of the Big City. He stops rocking and stands to attention when he sees an Armoured Assault Vehicle, a S.W.A.T. van and a dozen Police cars not merely speed up to his driveway but onto his front lawn. Three dozen paramilitary commandos dressed in Black Full Body Armour leap from their vehicles and swarm the porch and house perimeter. He is thrown to the ground, knee on his back, boot on his neck. His dog shot. His wife stripsearched on the front lawn and his son swept away by Child Protective Services. His house is ransacked and a Legal Notice reading "Civil Forfeiture: Property of The State" is tacked to what's left of his family's front door.

Stunned and wide-eyed, as he is driven away in the back of a Police car he notices Miss Bittlefrumpy looking out her window, smiling in his direction from behind half drawn blinds, and he can only roll his eyes.

 
At 1:02 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Actually marijuana is not a gateway drug.

For women, it's cigarettes that lead them to dangerous drugs. They also do it to make friends. Sharing a spliff is a form of bonding.

For men, it's alcohol. Given that men are unlikely to bond with other men over beer and a game of dart, men drinking together is done to overcome the natural inhibition of sharing some feelings with other men. Mainly it's done out of competition with other men e.g. beer drinking contests etc.

Overall though, men like to get high; women just want to bond with someone they like.

And the interesting thing is that addictions tend to socially isolate addicts.

 
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