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F.D.A. Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana:
This balanced story from The New York Times contains within it several appropriate critical responses to this announcement by the FDA. Here is the lede:
WASHINGTON, April 20 — 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 Thursday's statement resulted from a past combined review by federal drug enforcement, regulatory and research agencies that concluded "smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment."

Ms. Bro said the agency issued the statement in response to numerous inquiries from Capitol Hill but would probably do nothing to enforce it.

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

Eleven states have legalized medicinal use of marijuana, but the Drug Enforcement Administration and the director of national drug control policy, John P. Walters, have opposed those laws.
You may want to read the whole thing before commenting.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. F.D.A. Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana:
  2. Waiting to Inhale:
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
But the Institute of Medicine report concluded there was no evidence that marijuana acted as a gateway to harder drugs.

Not a gateway drug?I thought many studies had shown that most users of medicinal marihuana go on to full-blown chemotherapy.

Gad--what a disconnect. Here's a population, severely ill, many dying, and in the case of cancer many on opiates, oxycontin, etc.... and there is a serious dispute over whether they ought to be allowed to smoke marihuana?

Conversely, many conservatives (not all, including me) view allowing states to differ from a federal regime as leading to the downfall of the Republic, while many liberals view the same as a praiseworthy allowance of state flexibility.

A great example for a book I'm working on, which will propose that political divisions (liberal vs. conservative, etc.) are really based upon emotion and deeply-held values, not upon reasoned principles or logic. The objection here is not rooted in state flexibility, concepts of liberty or of the state, or medical research. It's that marihuana is associated with (to use an antique phrase) libertinism.
4.21.2006 1:58pm
Hayek:
Given that more than two-thirds of the article is devoted to quotes suggesting that either the FDA is politically motivated or that its report constitutes shoddy science, I cannot help but wonder whether the criterion for being "balanced" is that the poster agrees with it.
4.21.2006 2:00pm
Ken Arromdee (mail):
Gad--what a disconnect. Here's a population, severely ill, many dying, and in the case of cancer many on opiates, oxycontin, etc.... and there is a serious dispute over whether they ought to be allowed to smoke marihuana?

Yeah. Because it's not a far stretch to conclude that marijuana usage by cancer patients is being promoted because cancer patients look better to the public, but the main goal of the proponents is to get marijuana legalized in general with the cancer patients being just one step on a slippery slope.

(Remember, the slippery slope article, that we saw here first?)
4.21.2006 2:13pm
Randy Barnett (mail) (www):
By "balanced," I meant that the diverse views opposing that of the FDA report, which is the subject of the article, are well-represented in the article, so that those who read the lede are aware of this before commenting. I stand by my characterization.
4.21.2006 2:14pm
Hayek:
Prof. Barnett,

Thanks for the quick response. Given that the linked article is meant to be a news story and not an opinion piece, I would suggest that a nearly universal understanding of the word "balanced" in this context would be that the article presents views opposed to and in favor of the FDA statement. If it's simply attacking the statement from different angles (or more accurately, with quotes from many different people basically saying the same thing), it isn't balanced even if those who agree with it believe that it hits all major areas of criticism.
4.21.2006 2:25pm
Kazinski:
I don't know why there should be any controversy over medical marijuana. Isn't there already a process in place for determining the efficacy of drugs and delivery methods, and weighing the benefits vs the side effects?

I kind of get the feeling the FDA doesn't want to go thru the process because it has a bias against medical marijuana. And I also get the feeling medical marijuana proponents do not want to go thru the process either. Because if the FDA does approve medical marijuana and makes it available on the same basis as other prescription drugs, then that will make it harder to use MM as a segway the movement's real aim: complete legalization for recreational use.
4.21.2006 2:46pm
Randy Barnett (mail) (www):
Anyone interested in the extent to which medical research has been obstructed by the federal government should read this amicus brief by Rick Doblin.
4.21.2006 2:51pm
Cornellian (mail):
Personally I wonder why there isn't more of an uproar about the Feds blocking approval of that HPV virus vaccine. Like medical marijuana, it's being blocked by the feds for reasons having nothing to do with science and everything to do with pandering to a certain element of the Republican party.

If I had cancer and marijuana was the only thing that relieved my symptoms I'd be taking it regardless of what the federal government thought. No jury would give them a conviction.
4.21.2006 3:16pm
Nobody Special:
All you people complaining should just get a prescription for Marinol. But of course, we can't do that, because taking a pill doesn't serve the true aims of the people demanding "medical" marijuana.

This is, and always has been, about the first step toward legalization of the recreational smoking of marijuana. There's a reason that NORML and affiliated people are by far the largest proponents of various "medical" marijuana efforts.
4.21.2006 3:17pm
Bpbatista (mail):
Prohibition -- whether of alcohol or marijuana -- is folly squared. If it takes "medical marijuana" to make the poplulation at large realize that the Emporer has no clothes, then so be it.
4.21.2006 3:40pm
Guest for the day:
Interesting that they picked 4-20 for the announcement
4.21.2006 3:43pm
Nobody Special:
Bpbatista-

That depends on what one believes to be the goal of prohibition. The Temperance Movement really believed that it could completely eradicate the consumption of alcohol.

I don't think you'll find many supporters of marijuana prohibition believing that they can ever entirely stamp out its use. Rather, the goal is to increase the cost, both monetarily and socially, to the use of marijuana and thus decrease demand.

Are you equally happy about making recreational heroin available? How about cocaine base (crack)? I doubt it, but hey, prohibition is never a good thing, right?
4.21.2006 3:45pm
Bpbatista (mail):
I wouldn't be happy about it, but it might be better than the status quo which is pretty lousy. What are the enforcement costs of prohibition? What are the unintended consequences of prohibition? What are the opportunity costs of prohibition? These questions are usually ignored by prohibitionists.

PS Recreational heroin and crack IS available. It is just illegal, thus, demonstrating the folly of prohibition.
4.21.2006 4:14pm
Nobody Special:
"PS Recreational heroin and crack IS available. It is just illegal, thus, demonstrating the folly of prohibition."

You're ascribing the first view to me, when I've already indicated that I adhere to the second.
4.21.2006 4:19pm
jvarisco:
There is no contradiction. The government has prevented rigorous testing from happening, but all the study did was suggest that marijuana might be potentially effective and suggest that such testing should happen.

http://www.intdesigns.net/?p=11
4.21.2006 4:38pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
If the FDA is wrong, then the critics should be able to point to some sound scientific studies supporting the medical use of marijuana.

Here is IOM summary:
Symptoms, if not diseases, can be relieved by marijuana, but for most patients there are more effective approved medicines. On the other hand, the basic science suggests potential benefit from certain cannabinoids, delivered without the hazards of smoking, in combination with other drugs. Continued research to elaborate that potential and epidemiological studies to define risks such as lung cancer from smoking marijuana are recommended.
I am not sure that this really contradicts the new FDA statement.
4.21.2006 4:44pm
JamesB:
That has always been my question, how much has the "War on drugs" cost us. Factoring in both what we have spent trying to stop illegal drugs, how much we have lost in not taxing it, and an estimate on crime related costs.
4.21.2006 4:44pm
Dem:
NS: You say everyone complaining should "just get a prescription for Marinol" but Marinol is not the same thing as marijuana at all--it has only one of the chemicals found in marijuana. When a doctor recommends marijuana to a patient knowing that the patient will have to break the law to obtain and use it, it is because Marinol is not an effective medicine for that patient. Or do you think all the doctors recommending medical marijuana to cancer patients are secretly part of the vast conspiracy to legalize recreational marijuana?

Hayek: Balance is important in reporting the news, but it must be constrained by facts. As an extreme example: should every article that notes the world is round also have a quote from some whacko that thinks it isn't? Of course not. The FDA's statement didn't come as the result of some new study or report. Instead, the agency issued a one page advisory that contradicts all of the recent major studies and reports on medical marijuana, including those comissioned by the government. The advisory doesn't even explain the basis for its conclusions. So, what we have here is a one page unexplained advisory from the FDA versus the opinion of pretty much every top scientist/physician/report that has looked at the topic in recent years. How would you propose the Times "balance" its article in these circumstances? Should it report information that is scientifically inaccurate? Balance is important, but the main purpose of the news is to report factual information.
4.21.2006 4:44pm
Nobody Special:
I think that they do so for price reasons primarily. And yes, a large number of the doctors doing the recommending are described, on Cal-NORML and "Americans for Safe Access" (another pro-"medical" marijuana organization) as "marijuana friendly." Couldn't be that they'd have their own reasons...

Also, all the research, pro and con, into the supposed medicinal properties of marijuana has focused entirely upon THC, not the related cannaboids. If even the pro side is claiming that the benefit is from THC, why not just give a pill with THC in it? Because that doesn't fit the larger picture.

The whole "medical" thing is just because people feel sorry for a mid-sixties woman dying of cancer on chemotherapy, and have little use for a bunch of stoners. Public relations at its best.
4.21.2006 4:58pm
Fub:
Cornellian wrote:

If I had cancer and marijuana was the only thing that relieved my symptoms I'd be taking it regardless of what the federal government thought. No jury would give them a conviction.


The jury would never learn why you possessed it, only that you had possessed it, and in sufficient quantity to make you presumptively a drug dealer or "kingpin".

Roger Schlafly wrote:

If the FDA is wrong, then the critics should be able to point to some sound scientific studies supporting the medical use of marijuana.


Not if performing the study is effectively illegal, as Randy Barnett has already pointed out.

Prohibitionistas have created an excellent legal web of "gotchas" to prevent the laws from being changed, even by a vote of the people.

It is as if the statute governing traffic flow where two cars approach on intersecting roads were "neither shall move until the other has passed." Either driver passing through the intersection would be in violation under any circumstance. Likewise, any attempt to change prohibition laws is blocked by another law, effectively rendering the scientific research necessary to support changing the law legally impossible.

It's more effective than the Berlin Wall.
4.21.2006 5:17pm
PersonFromPorlock:
I'm a little reminded of the "no credible proof exists..." meme that became so familiar during the Clinton years, that was then used to argue that no investigation should take place.
4.21.2006 5:21pm
joe (mail):
Rather, the goal is to increase the cost, both monetarily and socially, to the use of marijuana and thus decrease demand.

NS: you do realize what the implication of this statement don't you? Enforcing prohibition of drug use drives up the price of a drug. As you throw more and more dollars at the problem, the price rises linearly. This increase in price benefits the supplier of the drug, as he reaps increased profits. Know why gangs and violence go hand in hand with drugs? Cause it's so damn profitable. An ounce of high grade marijuana goes for around $400, for a naturally occuring plant!!! Imagine if marijuana was a commodity like most other plants. What do you think the cost would be? $20? $50? No gang in the world would traffic the stuff cause it wouldn't be worth it. Same thing with cocaine. Same thing with Heroine. Legalize it, tax it, control the distribution of it and the societal benefits gained from not spending money on the "War on drugs", from the reduction in crime, from the reduction in the non-violent drug offender prison popultion, etc... would far outweigh any cost associated with marginal increase in demand.

Gary Becker has some thoughts at his blog, but honestly the best piece on this subject is a survey the Economist did a few years back on why drugs should be legalized.

short description

Are you equally happy about making recreational heroin available? How about cocaine base (crack)? I doubt it, but hey, prohibition is never a good thing, right?

Yes, I'd make heroin and cocaine and crack available. For the same cost/benefit reasons I mentioned above. I lived in inner city Baltimore for 7 years. I saw what these drugs do to people, so I don't take lightly the effects. However, it is not the role of government to protect people from themselves. If a crack addict commits a crime, arrest him for the crime, but leave the crack out of it. John Stuart Mill said it better than I:

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."
4.21.2006 5:24pm
joe (mail):
sorry, don't know what happened to the URL

4.21.2006 5:25pm
joe (mail):
sorry, don't know what happened to the URL

4.21.2006 5:25pm
Shake-N-Bake (www):
This wouldn't be the first time the FDA ignores what the scientific community has to say. They've been dithering around with easier access to Plan B for several years now, and though the drug company has jumped through every hoop the FDA has asked them to, the FDA head still continually delays decision even though the FDA advisory board has cleared it.

And then of course there is the HPV vaccine. In both cases there isn't a single efficacy or safety reason (i.e. the only reasons that they are given in the statute -- safe and effective for its intended use) that the FDA has articulated as to why they are holding back approval that wasn't already answered.

It isn't therefore surprising that the FDA would claim there's not enough information when the government has stopped virtually any real research. Hard to come up with safety and efficacy data as it stands now. And one can only come to one conclusion as to why they refuse: they already know what the answer will be from the studies and they don't want to have to deal with it.
4.21.2006 6:11pm
Cornellian (mail):
If I had cancer and marijuana was the only thing that relieved my symptoms I'd be taking it regardless of what the federal government thought. No jury would give them a conviction.

The jury would never learn why you possessed it, only that you had possessed it, and in sufficient quantity to make you presumptively a drug dealer or "kingpin".


I'd hope to have a lawyer smart enough to overcome any silly arguments that this information wasn't relevant.
4.21.2006 6:19pm
gab (mail):
$400 an oz? I remember the good old days when you could buy a lid for $10. Maybe not as good a quality, but plenty good enough...
4.21.2006 7:16pm
Bryan DB:
At this point, it's fair to write off the conclusions of any Bush agency on any scientific topic. If one were to assume the exact opposite viewpoint on whatever is announced by the current government's scientific or medical "experts," one would most often be exactly scientifically correct.

This report by the FDA on its conclusion regarding the use of medical marijuana is just the latest in a series of "scientific" shenanigans pulled by the current administration.
4.21.2006 7:39pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
I just don't believe that it is illegal to do sound scientific studies of marijuana. A study could be done in one of the 11 medical marijuana states, or done overseas.

But even if it is true that it is impossible to do a study, then the FDA statement is correct, and those who tried to contradict the FDA are wrong.

The libertarians here don't like the govt drug policy, but the question here should be whether the FDA is correctly stating the facts.
4.21.2006 7:40pm
SenatorX (mail):
"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

Nice Joe. I had not read that before but I couldn't agree with him more. That is well put.
4.21.2006 8:13pm
Fub:
Roger Schlafly wrote:
But even if it is true that it is impossible to do a study, then the FDA statement is correct, and those who tried to contradict the FDA are wrong.

Yes. The FDA said it, so it is unnquestionably correct.

Cornellian wrote:
I'd hope to have a lawyer smart enough to overcome any silly arguments that this information wasn't relevant.


Although not quite on point for personal possession, you might find the appeal of Ed Rosenthals's conviction enlightening.

Particlularly arguments IV and V.
4.21.2006 8:29pm
Josh_Jasper (mail):
I'm figuring that after about 8 more years of Bush, Bush clones, and the current crop of spychopathic bottom feeder Republican leadership like Tome DeLay, and his political children, that the FDA will reccomend weekly beatings for anyone found with a copy of High Times.

Seriously, it's bullshit to blame this on liberals. The war on (some enjoyable) drugs is a conservative war. If you vote conservative, you're supporting the drug war.

If you vote for conservatives and call yourself a libertarian, and somehow manage to not have your head explode, you're probably a VC contributor.
4.21.2006 9:14pm
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
I vaguely recall once reading someone's experiences with both smoked marijuana and an approved marijuana-based medication (Marinol?) that is taken in pill form. The author said that the former worked and the latter didn't. Such anecdotal evidence pops up from time to time, as far as I'm aware. I have a hypothesis: smoking works better because the active ingredients enter the bloodstream more efficiently via lung capillaries than through stomach linings. Perhaps part of the solution lies in finding a medium better than pills that doesn't involve ingesting smoke - a nasal spray, perhaps.
4.21.2006 9:32pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Cornellian,

You would be convicted in a heart beat. Your medical condition would be inadmissable. Because, pot has no medical uses.

Even if it is Better Than Viagra.

In any case I have done quite a bit showing pot very useful for PTSD and other anxiety related conditions. Scroll down the side bar on the above link.

BTW there are a lot of Cannabinoid receptors in the body. CB1 in the brain (mostly) and CB2 in the body (mostly). There are others.

Have a look at the "Endocannabinoid System".

All this science was held back for years in the USA due to the disrepute of pot re: the law.

There is some evidence that folks considered chronic recreational smokers have an endocannabinoid deficiency.

Slippery slope indeed.
4.21.2006 10:25pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Nobody Special thinks marijuana prohibition is intended to uphold social norms.

Other people think the purpose is to uphold drug company profits:

Addiction or Self Medication?

Same with the Meth Scourge:

The War On Unpatented Drugs.
4.21.2006 10:33pm
TJIT (mail):
Josh_jasper,

The drug war is a bipartisan disaster. I sure don't recall any effort on Clinton's* part to do anything to ratchet down the drug war. In fact DEA raids of medical marijuana clubs in california were ongoing in 1997 after california voters approved medical marijuana. I suggest you read some of Nadine Strossen's writings for further insight on democrats tendency to give civil liberties lots of lip service but little action.

* I suffer suffer from clinton fatigue and generally avoid mentioning him because it can derail a comment thread faster then the most experienced troll. However, I feel it is appropriate in this case given the raids on the med marijuana clubs, Paul Begala's comment on executive orders "stroke of the pen, law of the land, kinda of cool", passage of the effective death penalty act and many other examples showing they had little respect for civil liberties.

Furthermore, given Clinton's enormous popularity it would seem that if the democrats were concerned with civil liberties he had a very bully pulpit to push for more civil liberties.

Thanks,

TJIT
4.21.2006 10:49pm
TJIT (mail):
Nobody Special,

You said

"If even the pro side is claiming that the benefit is from THC, why not just give a pill with THC in it? Because that doesn't fit the larger picture."

Big sigh,

You don't understand the big or little picture. If a patient is highly nauseous from either chemotherapy or radiation therapy they are likely to be on enteral nutritional support and hydration because they are too sick to eat or drink anything. Any form of treatment using oral medication in this situation is going to fail because the patient is going to vomit up any oral medication they are given.

That is the big picture problem with your solution. But you provide another excellent example of the current situation with respect to medical marijuana and a completely separate but related policy issue, pain control. People who are fundamentally ignorant of the most basic clinical conditions or patient care needs are setting treatment policy for physicians.

TJIT
4.21.2006 11:29pm
TJIT (mail):
M Simon,

In my opinion drug prohibition has nothing to do with the patent situation. How does the saying go "never blame conspiracy where stupidity, ignorance, or sloth will serve to explain equally well"

Thanks,

TJIT
4.21.2006 11:49pm
Fub:
TJIT wrote:

In my opinion drug prohibition has nothing to do with the patent situation. How does the saying go "never blame conspiracy where stupidity, ignorance, or sloth will serve to explain equally well"


At least one pharmaceutical company has indeed paid for at least one lobbyist attack on medical marijuana legislation in a state legislature, and very recently.

Whether that is the result of conspiricy, stupidity, ignorance or sloth is beyond the scope of this comment.
4.22.2006 12:59am
212 (mail):
Drugs in pill form are legitimately problematic for cancer patients for a number of reasons.

First, if your stomach is pretty much shutting down on account of the poison you hope is killing the cancer, your chances of keeping a pill down long enough to have some of it absorb are less than ideal.

Second, the dose required is not constant, and cannot be regulated after a pill has successfully entered theur system.

Are pills adequate? No. Is an inhailing medium the ideal alternative? Maybe not. If you see the direction Big Pharma is taking with Ritalin, it seems you can get past both of those problems by using a patch exposure. Will this happen? I don't know. Maybe the active components don't absorb well through the skin. Or some other issue we cannot foresee.

However, I expect that we will see Maple-Flavored Pharma (ie: Canadian companies) deftly identifying a field of patents now closed to their American counterparts.
4.22.2006 2:16am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Pot is good for anxiety.

Anxiety medicine in America is worth $40 some bn. a year.

Look at the sponsor list for the Partnership for a Drug Free America Campaign.

Do the math.
4.22.2006 9:17am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I'm not claiming conspiracy.

None of the facts are hidden.
4.22.2006 9:20am
know-nothing:

Police Corruption

Similar to US alcohol prohibition of the 1920's, current drug prohibition legislation breeds police corruption and abuse. A 1998 report by the General Accounting Office notes that on-duty police officers involved in drug-related corruption engage in serious criminal activities such as (1) conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures; (2) stealing money and/or drugs from drug dealers; (3) selling stolen drugs; (4) protecting drug operations; (5) providing false testimony; and (6) submitting false crime reports. Approximately half of all police officers convicted as a result of FBI-led corruption cases between 1993 and 1997 were convicted for drug-related offenses and nationwide over 100 cases of drug-related corruption are prosecuted each year. Every one of the federal law enforcement agencies with significant drug enforcement responsibilities has seen an agent implicated.

It isn't hard to explain the growth of corruption. Relative to other opportunities, legitimate or illegitimate, the financial temptations are enormous. Many police officers are demoralized by the scope of drug trafficking. No matter how diligent an officer may be eradication programs and millions of arrests have done little to stop drugs which are now cheaper, purer, and more available than ever. Given the dangers of their job, the indifference of many citizens and the frequent lack of appreciation are no doubt disheartening. Some police also recognize that their real function is not so much to protect victims from predators but to regulate an illicit market that can't be suppressed and that much of society prefers to keep underground.

One of America's worst cases of drug-related police corruption occurred in California after an officer caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from a police department's evidence locker turned on his fellow officers to get a reduced sentence. Known as the 'Rampart' Scandal, over a hundred convictions were overturned as police misconduct, ranging from the planting of evidence to "confessions" obtained through beatings was uncovered. Officers were indicted on corruption charges, including torture, murder, drug dealing, and framing innocent people. The unit's criminal behavior became known as the 'Rampart Way,' a term referring to a predominately poor, immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles patrolled - and during that time controlled -by the officers.



Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press



Documentary: Plan Colombia



The raw (and ugly) truth about the war on drugs



Basic Facts About the War on Drugs
4.22.2006 11:56am
Smithy (mail) (www):
So many on the left are so eager to embrace junk science when it advances their causes, such as drug legalization. The "value" of marijuana as a medicine is supported by just as much SOUND science as are global warming and evolution. Which is to say: NONE.
4.22.2006 3:42pm
John Doe:

So many on the left are so eager to embrace junk science when it advances their causes, such as drug legalization. The "value" of marijuana as a medicine is supported by just as much SOUND science as are global warming and evolution. Which is to say: NONE.


Evolution is junk science?
4.22.2006 5:11pm
Quarterican (mail):
John Doe:

Don't feed the Smithy.
4.22.2006 7:19pm
Mark\:
Alcohol is many times more harmful to its users and non-users that marijuana.

Alcohol - Very Bad for you, yet legal.

Marijuana - Not nearly as harmful, yet illegal.

Another point: I would like to see all drugs legalized. It would be very sad for those who choose to abuse it. Which is worse, a druggie who kills himself? Or a cop who dies because some crackhead dealer who doesn't want to go to jail? Thus, prohibition harms people other than the users, which is wrong. Doesn't the FDA realize the damage they are causing by choosing to ignore the facts?
4.22.2006 7:41pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Smithy,

I'm on the right.

I fear that when the prohibition rock is lifted (an it will be since the science supporting it - drugs cause addiction - is faulty) I'm afraid a lot of Republicans are going to get hurt.

National security will get hurt. etc.

The corruption involved will make the Abramoff look like some penny ante alderman scandal from a town of 2,000.

Republican politicians ought to be slowly edging away from this turkey before it stinks so bad everyone notices.
4.22.2006 10:02pm
countertop (mail):
I know the 4th Circuit rejected the Data Quality Act, but perhaps this would make an excellent test case for a Data Quality challenge in the 1st or 9th Circuits.
4.22.2006 10:10pm
TJIT (mail):
Countertop,

What was the background on the 4th circuits ruling against the data quality act? I have not heard about the case and would like to know more about it.

Thanks,

TJIT
4.23.2006 12:49am
Randy R. (mail):
I live in Washington, DC, and several years ago we held a referendum to consider legally medical pot. We voted, but certain high level republicans in the Congress (names escape me right now) prevented the votes from even being counted. Thus the will of the people, so important to conservatives, could not even be assessed, let alone followed, because of the morality of a few self-chosen elites.

There is no more reason to ban pot than there is to ban alcohol. Both have bad effects if abused, but both can be pleasant if used in moderation. The only difference between the two is that Ben Franklin and Tom Jefferson enjoyed wine and beer, but knew nothing about pot. And so our founding fathers cast their eerie glow over the 21st centure....
4.23.2006 4:18pm
Ryan Waxx:
It's always struck me as mighty odd that pot turned out to be the one indispensible drug for cancer pain.

Astonishing... that one of the premier hippie drugs of choice... the one that you can easily make yourself... turned out to be the ONLY thing that can ease their pain... more effective than any synthetic available, with none of the side effects.

It's about as amazing as that time my 7-year old brother discovered that chocolate cake was full of nutrients by reading the side of the box, and decided he NEEDED some nutrition right now.

And pot-as-wonderdrug is about as believeable as cake-as-multivitamin. Only difference is that "scientists" aren't willing to lie to push cake onto the national agenda.
4.23.2006 9:35pm
Fub:
Ryan Waxx wrote:

And pot-as-wonderdrug is about as believeable as cake-as-multivitamin. Only difference is that "scientists" aren't willing to lie to push cake onto the national agenda.


Please cite what scientists are lying, and what their specific lies are.

Principal investigators' names, title of article or paper, periodical and publication date will likely be enough for readers of this blog to find the publication and verify your determination.

Thank you.
4.24.2006 5:05am
TJIT (mail):
Ryan Waxx,

IIRC marijuana is being proposed as a treatment for nausea in cancer patients and wasting syndrome in AIDS, not as a pain treatment.

However, if you are interested in pain control issues the DEA actions WRT opiates in general and Oxycontin in particular (with the help of the usual suspects in the media and the trial lawyers)could be fairly described as cruel.

TJIT
4.24.2006 12:16pm
lisamarie (mail):
Kazinski,
There is already a process in place for determining the efficacy of drugs and delivery methods, and weighing the benefits vs the side effects. And that process sucks. There is no way you can claim to make a risk-benefit calculation about a drug independent of the actual individuals who are taking it. Putting marijuana through the already screwed up FDA system is no answer. The answer is giving people free choice of the drugs they take, whether you, I or the government think they're good for anyone or not.
4.24.2006 6:09pm