Another Marijuana Myth Goes Up In Smoke by Paul Armentano

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    Yeah, just because Oh my God, you know a responsible person or two who does drugs means that the majority do?
    Yes, actually. Almost everyone uses drugs of some form or other, whether it's an over the counter cold medicine, aspirin, blood pressure meds, etc. Most of them are responsible.

    It's when we start picking and choosing which drugs are ok that it gets tricky. I have seen people drink a ton of coffee/energy drinks and act stupid and hyper. I've also seen people drink bottles of cough syrup to get high.

    And I when I used to smoke (I stopped about 2 years ago) I would watch a movie usually or listen to music, usually at home by myself. I liked it because the pot makes sensory input more interesting.

    I didn't bother anyone, I went to work everyday (and I never was high at work), and I didn't drive high.

    The fact that others may use a drug irresponsibly should have no bearing on my ability to choose to use it.


  2. I am still a little high from all that dope I smoked back in the 80's
    so it took me a while to read through this thread, does marijuana cause lung cancer or not?
    Laws are laws if you don't agree with them,you have the right to be a dissident, but that carries its own risks. If you think that you can change the Marijuana laws you must know somebody in "high" places. I don't want to pay taxes. Mostly because I think alot of the money collected is wasted on profiteers. Some of the money does useful things like support the social infrastructure and the people that make it work, so at least there is some good, which helps ease my dissent as I pay.
    When I examine the origin of the Income tax laws I find that there is a cloudy somewhat deceitful history of the people who designed and profit from the taxes that are collectsed(mostly bankers)
    You could apply the same examination to the original marijuana laws from 1936. They were spurred by histeria over "black jazz" musicians swinging into town to dope up the " white virgins" Marijuana role as a menace to society was started in xenophobia and rolls forward from that point.
    The smart money realized that people would pay good money for this guilty pleasure. The smuggling industries was started and funded by many well know tea and coffee importers. The magnitude of the profit they generated from the marijuana laws may never be known, but I am pretty sure they won't give up(legalize it) without a fight.

    Try and remember cops don't make laws. They are paid to
    enforce them..and just becuase something is your job doesn't make it right.

    ..."live free or die tryin" -Samuel Adam or maybe it was 50 cent
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  3. Pot is not addictive. I have smoked pot off and on for the past 15 years. I find it helps me relax after an insane day at work followed by a 90 minute drive home. My fiance says that she notices that I am less tense and that my normal levels of anxiety are gone.

    I do not believe it impairs my workouts at all....I am 34 years old, 210 lbs (at 5'10") and am fairly lean...no idea on my bodyfat %, but I have good abs and my cardio sessions are always great. I have had no desire to do other drugs or experiment.
    I can go weeks or months without smoking pot and do not "crave" it. I look at it as a "tool" in my arsenal of staying fit, strong, and most importantly, sane.

    Gumbo

  4. Depends on the situation Dr.D. If I found a brick of pot in a guys car then I doubt I would have taken the pot and let the guy go because that would of put my family in danger. That guy would of basically thought I took the pot to smoke it myself.


    In my job I would of had two choices. 1. just let him go without taking a thing or 2. Arrest him. But i'm honest. I don't pull k-9 searches for just the hell of it. I don't search people's cars illegally and I don't go searching for more than i need to. If I would of pulled you over for a burnt tail light then you would of got a verbal and let go. I don't believe in suspicious cars. There's people who do suspicious acts.

    EDIT
    Last edited by Jayhawkk; 06-12-2006 at 01:09 PM.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    And anyone who basically tells me he wants me to see me dead or in jail and on and on can kill my ass. I can handle mature debates or arguements.
    Not for nothing, but that's exactly what you've been saying to me, every other person on this board who uses or has used, and by default every other user, past presetn and future. Or do you think going to jail is a vacation to look forward to? As for your last post directed at me, I loved it. It takes so little to bring out the inherently viscious nature of people like you. And yes, mindless enforcement of a law without concern for its justification or consequences is visciousness. I'm sick of giving a pass to people on the "I'm just following orders" or "It's my job" lines.

  6. EDIT
    I live my life based on my morals,values and life experiences and you live yours by however you decide.
    Last edited by Jayhawkk; 06-12-2006 at 01:09 PM.

  7. CDB, Jay -

    Everytime a thread on drug politics comes up it usually ends up the same way with you guys being overly viscious toward one another. I understand the fury caused by the clashing of totally opposing viewpoints - but please be civil about it.

    Try to focus on the things in life you both agree on, like lifting weights, supplementation, etc. Think happy thoughts. Remember what Bambi's mother said:

    "If you cant say anything nice, don't say anything at all"



    C'mon, doesnt that make you both smile?

    BV

  8. Understood BV and I appologise. I'll go back and edit all the insults.

  9. Went through and edited any insults but thre were a few so I may of missed one

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    The problem is there is no NEED now just a want. I want a lot of things but that doesn't mean I would risk doing time or getting a record. My problem is the euphoria reached with this drug is felt to be something that has to be had.

    If someone could give me a list of benefits of legalizing the drug because making it a non crime I could possibly be swayed(not that you care to sway me). It seems that the growing list of reasons are all circular with the laws of it.

    1. Not dealing with pushers
    2. Not crowding jail space
    3. Not ruining lives with criminal records

    Being a cop you learn that no matter what you make a stop or arrest for. That person thinks that you would be serving better by stopping people doing 'real crimes' no one thinks their crime is real. If you're worried about your life and criminal record then drink a beer or two instead of risking it all by buying/selling/smoking pot. Until a law changes that's the safe way and if you choose to break the law then so be it.

    I don't agree with many laws out there but it's hard to complain about them if I haven't actively went out and voted or did my best to change them. If you want pot legalized then get to work on it. Don't cloud it with fake issues like millions in jail for smoking a joint. Put real data and facts behind it.

    I would be willing to bet that most people willing to sacrifice their way of life for a little pot are also the ones willing to drive drunk, willing to steal, willing to not get auto insurance etc. Is this a bold and broad statement? Yup but what else can you say about people who complain about their lives being ruined but at the same time keep doing the crime that will ruin it? Harmless drug? Maybe or maybe not but it is illegal. You do it and you take the chance of punishment. The same if you speed, drink and drive, use steroids. It isn't like it's a hidden law you don't know about.

    I feel i should chime in, While i maybe talking about a friend(cough) this story maybe true or maybe false.

    Anyways, my friend is very bipolar and has server depression has been sucidal and on and off medication his intire life, my friend can't drink and has no desire to after doing it for a while lost its magic. Not mention the many many ill side effects that it can have, well my friend used to be against pot heavy til he did a very very very extensive college paper (Started off against Ganja use) and turned around after reading threw the DEA's Bull**** lies, eventaully the only test for my friend to do was to try it and judge its distructive nature. My friend after trying it has used it a couple of times when down to turn himself around, over all my friend has found its medical/relaxtion property's to be very benifitacal at controlling the mood swings and has no desire to do it again. But may do it again in the future while visiting amsterdamn(*where this all took place*)

    My friend didnt try any other drugs, Did'nt play with a gun and shot himself or a friend(as some comericals implicated) Didn't attempt to drive a car around, never went sold or advocated the spread of use to his friends/familys and others(outside of maybe telling me to add to this thread of misconcived notions) What i can say is after seeing how people act on Ganja compared to achahal that Ganja is far safer and alot more mellow, my friends defintly not new to see people under infulence of diffrent drugs and i must say that MJ happens to be the least ill effects and potenail good effects out of all the drugs out there. (Considering two of the most dangerous besides coke/meth are legal) Its too bad that the goverment can't see past its ill fated ways to except another safe drug that can be used at least medically if not reccerationally. Lets put it this way when i was in Amsterdamn people toked in lounges and were very normal and relaxed. These people weren't heavy drug users or scum bags they were normal bussiness class people relaxing with friends. Let me say i believe the reason MJ gets such a negivite rap is the normal people that won't break the law aren't doing it (for most part) and alot of regular crimnals who ignore the law anyways are doing it. So you can really only get a negivite picture of MJ. But if they allowed it to become legal you would see the same effect as Amsterdamn that it wouldnt have a negitvie effect it would be retrospectivally the same.

    Only there would be a safer option(IMHO) then drinking/smoking cig's

    Anyways medically they have found(get this) THE DEA recently maybe 2months ago. Hired 12 sceintist to conduct a study on the harmful/negitive effects and wanted to prove there was no medical usefullness. The scientist came back with stunning and opisit results. Making matters worse for the DEA instead of addmitting they were wrong they threw the findings out and claimed there old research was right.

    Talk about a load of ****, i'm sorry but trusting our goverment is worse then trusting the Supposivly informative Discovery Channel.
    (sorry always wanted to use there dumbasses as a analagy after watching last 5 years of crap they've spewed out)

    Anyways take the truth or leave it, and believe the great DEA who is so greatly protecting everyone from themselves(rofl)


    Dr L
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  11. Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    Try to focus on the things in life you both agree on, like lifting weights, supplementation, etc. Think happy thoughts.
    BV
    Good idea. This subject really pulls out the ******* in me.

  12. Anyways medically they have found(get this) THE DEA recently maybe 2months ago. Hired 12 sceintist to conduct a study on the harmful/negitive effects and wanted to prove there was no medical usefullness. The scientist came back with stunning and opisit results. Making matters worse for the DEA instead of addmitting they were wrong they threw the findings out and claimed there old research was right.

    Do you have links to this happening? Not that I put it past the gov't to do this. Also, what people need to consider is that Amsterdam isn't even remotely close to the US society/culture. Introducing something that works/worked in one doesn't mean it'll produce similar results in another.

  13. haha BV, just noticed that picture you posted...Was watching that yesterday :P

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Dr Liftalot
    My friend after trying it has used it a couple of times when down to turn himself around, over all my friend has found its medical/relaxtion property's to be very benifitacal at controlling the mood swings and has no desire to do it again. But may do it again in the future while visiting amsterdamn(*where this all took place*)
    The politicization of the science surrounding weed is pretty incredible. However, regarding use as an antidepressant your friend should use care. Weed is a psychoactive and depending on social setting, current mood and expectations, etc., can have the opposite effect and amplify negative emotions. It's relatively innocuous for most people, but those with mood disorders should exercise caution when using any drug, especially ones with mental effects like weed, acid, MDMA, etc. The effects can be very variable.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    Do you have links to this happening? Not that I put it past the gov't to do this. Also, what people need to consider is that Amsterdam isn't even remotely close to the US society/culture. Introducing something that works/worked in one doesn't mean it'll produce similar results in another.

    Fair enough, it was the headline in the seattle times, will do what i can to find it.

    But yes i will do that find it for you, you see i do understand where you are coming from, there was a time in my life where i felt as you do or perhaps did if you had/have gave some thought as to what has been said here. Strangly enough i thought MJ was so bad that i felt pot smokers should be beaten down and thrown in jail and considered them to be scum/crap/and less then normal people. I grew up around DARE all my life so by time i hit highschool and some people were on pot(of course the trouble makers) I automatically said this proves the point pot=trouble and was against it for years to follow until of course the project came along. And of course the trip to Amsterdamn, which opened my eyes to new possiblitys, that MJ is just like Guns in a way. (not corlating to any sort of the use for guns to MJ) But in the fact that in the countries where Guns are banned the criminals kept theres and kept defieing the law and for the most part good honest people gave theres up. *now comes for the link* And the same goes with pot, if we legalized it you'd have normal people getting high without the problems you described and you'd have the same scumbags doing it ether way, so in a way all the negitive things people do on pot could and would happen ether way because its not really pot, its just adverage pot smoker isnt a law abiding citizin for the most part anyways(of course not all are crimanals) but a good portion are already that so its not the MJ's fault.

    So what i'm trying get at is it would look just like amsterdamn and be just like achohol. You have people high class who drink and still have a job and have a family , pay tax's etc. And your gonna have Joe **** bag who robs banks drives under infulence and has a I don't give a **** attitude about life anyways. So basically the banning is dumb espically when it has Medical aplication, and i honestly say its a safer alternitve to drinking. In retrospect you don't see to many crazy people who get high and go fighting people. I mean it happens but with drinking i see it all the time.

    I defintly think they should try to tax and regulate its use and take the money out of the black markets hands. It can have very postive effects and there is no doubt in my mind that can be used safely, but the same with anything theres that 5% that will abuse it but theres nothing you can do about it because if it isnt MJ its gonna be drinking and if it isnt drinking its cough syripe etc.


    I challenge you to go abroad to Amsterdamn and try it once, and then form your thesis, look how they live and tell me it isnt as i described. You say its a diffrent culter i challenge that, because its just as diverse if not more. I defintly think that the US would look similar because we like them have whats called a education and would have people using it at all levels like now, but we would get tax money, not speading money on keeping people locked up for a victomless crime(IMHO) and generally its a fun thing to do.

    Dr Liftalot

  16. Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    The politicization of the science surrounding weed is pretty incredible. However, regarding use as an antidepressant your friend should use care. Weed is a psychoactive and depending on social setting, current mood and expectations, etc., can have the opposite effect and amplify negative emotions. It's relatively innocuous for most people, but those with mood disorders should exercise caution when using any drug, especially ones with mental effects like weed, acid, MDMA, etc. The effects can be very variable.

    Agreed
    Like all drugs every user responds diffrently due to there chemical make-up. That being said there is a general overall similar effect but thats about it when comes to every sort of drug.

    But thanks for looking out ;-)

  17. Anybody changed anyone else's opinion in this matter yet? No? Ok, off I go to re-unsubscribe and think happy thoughts!

    Besides, I don't want BigV hunting me down!
    Recent log:http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/213350-lean-efx-refined.html

  18. I can't remember if it was the seattle PI or seattle times, but i did search a bit but said i needed sign up. Anyways i may make account just to find the artical.(depends how much sleep i get before work)

    Night guys

  19. Changed? Nah, most of these regardless never change a opinion usually ingrained after years of [insert reason]. However, you hope to inform the opposing side that the viewpoint isn't based off ignorance or hatred etc.

    I don't believe pot to be bad in and of itself. I don't believe users are all bad people. Everyone has their reasons for use or their reasons not to use. Just like I don't believe every illegal immigrant from the southern border should be locked up for life among other things because some are here to escape poverty and feed their families. However, you still need laws and rules to keep some sort of order.

    I believe that with the way our society is that due caution is deserved when thinking about introducing a substance like this. Not just immediate short term or believed to be long term results by those who want it legalized nor the Short term or believed to be long term results by those who want it kept illegal.

    There's propaganda and lies on both sides of the arguement regardless of your stance. The hard part is sifting through both sides to find the truths and weigh those as well as possible and slowly, through intelligent debate, science and finally though laws make the changes that the people want.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    Or that people use their medical pot as a way to sell it for money or other items much like the old food stamp deal.

    Regardless if pot causes cancer or not it still shuldn't be legalized for a good reason. Alcohol is often used as an arguement on a harmful product allowed to be sold in our society but forget that the gov't did try and ban it but people lost their minds because it was ingrained into society and they refused to let it go.

    Why introduce yet another product in this manner only to have a backlash that couldn't be stoped...again? I honestly don't think recreational use has too many consequences if used responsibly like many other things. the problem is that abuse is much more likely to happen than recreational/occasional use. I have enough of a problem with cell phones, hamburgers and alcohol in drivers hands killing their driving ability.

    Jay your oppinion and mine are usually pretty close but answer me this one question...

    Why cant i put what I want in my body?


    I'm going to go one step farther and say that you are in opposition of freedom if you think cocane should be illegal. Again, I should be able to put what I want in my body. Just beacuse some people do stupid things while under the influence doenst mean I should be able to put what I want in my body.

  21. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    EDIT
    I live my life based on my morals,values and life experiences and you live yours by however you decide.

    Nope. Doesnt work that way. I choose to live my life the way I want to, maybe smoke crack, I go to jail.

  22. [QUOTE=Jayhawkk4. Was this 400 grams of pot in a brick form or stored in individual baggies making them believe intent was to sell?
    I'm not saying your friend is a bad person. I also know that there are many upstanding people who are later found to have violated laws and they are usually weighed in when deciding punishment. Was this guy given a leniant sentence?[/QUOTE]

    "intent to sell" laws are a crock of ****. If I walk around town with a knife in my pocket, do i get charged with attempted murder? Anyone who is charged with "intent" of anything is guilty untill proven innocent

  23. "intent to sell" laws are a crock of ****. If I walk around town with a knife in my pocket, do i get charged with attempted murder? Anyone who is charged with "intent" of anything is guilty untill proven innocent
    So you don't think there should be a recognized difference between a guy in a school zone with one crack rock vs. pockets full of them?

    Also you're comparing apples and oranges.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    So you don't think there should be a recognized difference between a guy in a school zone with one crack rock vs. pockets full of them?

    Also you're comparing apples and oranges.

    I'm saying (if i thought crack should be illegal, which i dont) slam him for SELLING, not because he might sell. How could you prove he was going to sell anything?

  25. That's where they lawmakers came in. Motive bro, it's throughout all your laws. The intent behind the crime changes the punishment. If you're going to get angry at that then you need to be equally angry with non drug related crimes that have it.

  26. Just want to add some personal input on the addictiveness of marijuana. I don't smoke, never have, but my best friend is a hardcore pothead and is addicted to the stuff in many of the same horrible ways an alcoholic becomes addicted to booze. As a person he has always had a natural lazyness about him, but smoking amplifies it drastically for him, to the point where he is lethargic and unproductive, unable to sustain an academic career at school or a normal 9-5 job. Although he graduated the same year from HS as me he has only 10 units of college credit total, has failed out of numerous community college classes, lossed many jobs, all because he can't get his **** together when he is smoking heavily. I am in no way trying to say the weed *made* he make these poor decisions, but he is so dependent on it he puts it above all his other priorities, and just litterally "shuts off" when he is without it. It is like he cannot deal with the normal pressures of life without getting high. Like alcohol or many other drugs it is an escape for him. He has gotten a lot worse lately, he can't go out anywhere without smoking first, and when he is down to his last dollar he chooses pot over food (wtf!?). From what I have described here you must be picturing someone living in a card board shack, but at first glance he would probably seem pretty normal. If you were to tell me he has other issues besides the weed, I wouldn't disagree, but lemme tell you for some people this stuff is as addictive as anything could be.

    Also, I gotta agree with Jawhawk in that our particular society could not handle legalized pot. Maybe you guys could, or some of your friends or family, but in general there are just too many idiots out there. It's not that weed is inherently evil, or that it has devestating effects in isolated incidents, but rather on a national scale it is likely to cause a surge in various negative behavoirs.

  27. I have a couple of good articals for people to read in regards to the FDA's latest politcally motivated letter. (Prime example how it warned us of how dangerous plan B was, even though it has been proven to be safe)


    For Immediate Release


    April 27, 2006



    Hinchey Leads Bipartisan House Coalition In Calling For FDA
    To Explain Baseless Anti-Medical Marijuana Policy




    Twenty-Four Members Say Agency Needs To Start Responding
    To Science & Not To Political Pressure


    Washington, D.C. - One week after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a baseless, one page press release claiming that marijuana had no medical benefits, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) led a bipartisan group of 24 House members in calling on the agency to explain its reasoning and show scientific proof to support its view. Hinchey, who has offered an amendment in the House three times that would bar the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana patients, doctors, and suppliers in states where medical marijuana is legal, and his colleagues said the FDA's action appears to be politically motivated and defies the results of a White House-commissioned Institute of Medicine (IOM) study from 1999 that detailed the benefits of medical marijuana use.

    "Despite the fact that you are responding to a scientific question, your press release failed to provide any scientific expertise. We call on you to show us the purported scientific evidence for the basis of this response. There is no evidence that you have new scientific proof or that you oversaw clinical trials," Hinchey and his colleagues wrote in a letter sent today to FDA Acting Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. "It perplexes us that even though the FDA is responsible for protecting public health, the agency has failed to respond adequately to the IOM's findings seven years after the study's publication date."

    On April 20, the FDA issued a one-page press release without any documentation to back up its claim that, "...No sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use." This statement fails to take into account the IOM report from 1999, which found that marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea, the anorexia of AIDS wasting, and other symptoms, and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials.

    "We saw it with the agency's decision on the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, and we're seeing it again with medical marijuana: the FDA is making decisions based on politics instead of science," Hinchey said. "The FDA should not be a political entity. Rather, the agency should be in the business of ensuring all Americans have access to safe and effective drugs, including medical marijuana."

    Hinchey and his colleagues noted in their letter to von Eschenbach that the FDA has an Investigational New Drug (IND) Compassionate Access Program, which allowed some Americans with certain medical conditions to apply to the agency to receive marijuana from the federal government. Seven people are currently still in the program and routinely receive marijuana from the federal government. The House members suggest that the IND is an example of how the FDA could allow for the legal use of marijuana without having to go through the series of steps many other drugs go through before getting approved.

    Hinchey intends to offer his medical marijuana amendment for a fourth time when the House takes up the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2007. The measure would prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice from spending any funds in its budget to prosecute patients, doctors, and others who are associated with the use of medical marijuana in states that allow the drug from medical purposes.

    ###

    The text of the letter from Hinchey and his House colleagues to FDA Acting Commissioner von Eschenbach follows:

    April 27, 2005


    Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D.
    Acting Commissioner
    Food and Drug Administration
    5600 Fishers Lane
    Rockville, Maryland 20857


    Dear Dr. von Eschenbach:

    We are troubled by the FDA's April 20th press release in which the agency states that
    "[N]o sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use." The timing and the lack of substantial information included in this release lead us to conclude that this was a politically motivated statement rather than one based on scientific evidence and fact.

    Despite the fact that you are responding to a scientific question, your press release failed to provide any scientific expertise. We call on you to show us the purported scientific evidence for the basis of this response. There is no evidence that you have new scientific proof or that you oversaw clinical trials. In conjunction with the lack of scientific evidence, it is troubling that your release seemed to defer to the DEA's medical opinions on the drug despite the fact that determining the medical importance of a drug is not in the DEA's jurisdiction.

    After deferring to the DEA, your release reads that, "FDA is the sole federal agency that approves drug products as safe and effective for intended indications." Why then has the FDA failed to respond to the 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report which concluded that marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea, the anorexia of AIDS wasting, and other symptoms, and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials? It perplexes us that even though the FDA is responsible for protecting public health, the agency has failed to respond adequately to the IOM's findings seven years after the study's publication date. Additionally, this release failed to make note of the FDA's Investigational New Drug (IND) Compassionate Access Program, which allowed patients with certain medical conditions to apply with the FDA to receive federal marijuana. Currently, seven people still enlisted in this program continue to receive marijuana through the federal government. The existence of this program is an example of how the FDA could allow for the legal use of a drug, such as medical marijuana, without going through the "well-controlled" series of steps that other drugs have to go through if there is a compassionate need.

    In light of our concerns over this release, please inform us if there is new scientific information that disputes the IOM study, including the results of the evaluation, any scientific paperwork generated in the study, the length of time the evaluation occurred, and whether the DEA or any other federal agencies aside from the ones mentioned in the letter had a role in the evaluation. If, as the press release leads us to believe, there is in fact no evaluation, please let us know what motivated the FDA to write a release that lacks scientific review. It disheartens us to see the FDA veer off course in this area of public health especially at the expense of many terminally ill Americans. We understand that FDA's mission is to protect public health, which is why we respectfully request that you respond to these questions on this very important issue.


    Sincerely,

    Maurice Hinchey
    Ron Paul
    Barney Frank
    Sam Farr
    Tammy Baldwin
    Raúl Grijalva
    Robert Wexler
    Dennis Kucinich
    John Conyers
    Maxine Waters
    Dana Rohrabacher
    Jim McDermott
    Tom Lantos
    Jerrold Nadler
    John Olver
    Lois Capps
    Julia Carson
    Peter Stark
    Jan Schakowsky
    George Miller
    Zoe Lofgren
    Tom Allen
    Barbara Lee
    Gary Ackerman


    Congressman Maurice Hinchey (NY22) :: Press Release :: Hinchey Leads Bipartisan House Coalition In Calling For FDA To Explain Baseless Anti-Medical Marijuana Policy

  28. All SmokeThe FDA's statement on medical marijuana isn't about science.
    By Sydney Spiesel
    Posted Monday, April 24, 2006, at 3:36 PM ET

    Download the MP3 audio version of this story here, or sign up for Slate's free daily podcast on iTunes.

    Medicinal marijuana. Click image to expand.Medicinal marijuana
    Last week, the Food and Drug Administration reported that it had definitively established that marijuana has no medical use or value. Definitively? Established? I don't think so.

    The FDA's announcement begins by acknowledging the claim that smoked marijuana may be beneficial for some conditions. Then the agency points out that among drugs with a potential for abuse, marijuana is lumped in with the most dangerous drugs, the ones that have no potential medical benefits and the highest likelihood of misuse. The FDA next affirms that a collection of federal agencies have together concluded that marijuana is both dangerous and medically valueless, based on scientific studies in humans and animals. The announcement—actually, it's an "inter-agency advisory"—concludes by asserting, with a boldness that might belie a certain uneasiness, that it is the FDA's job to approve drugs. Take that, state legislatures and voters.

    The FDA's statement implies that the agency reached its conclusion about marijuana after conducting a new serious analysis of the existing scientific literature on the drug. But of course no such analysis was reported in the medical literature and, in fact, no identifiable official at the FDA took responsibility for last week's advisory. It was just put out there as a statement of fact.
    Click Here!

    But it's not. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine, the medical arm of the National Academy of Sciences (an organization chartered by Congress to provide independent, nonpartisan scientific and technological advice) examined this same question in considerable depth and published a 288-page report of its findings. Put together by 11 distinguished scientists and physicians, the IOM report examined the known and potential harms of marijuana use and the known and potential medical benefits. The report is broad in its vision and thoughtful and cautious in its interpretations and recommendations. Its authors acknowledged that the medical uses of marijuana entail some risk of harm—for instance, it's pretty clear that inhaling marijuana smoke can't be good for the lungs, and who knows if there are significant psychological side effects for some users. But the authors concluded that these risks were not terribly high. They also found that other putative risks often attached to this drug—the potential for addiction, for instance, or for marijuana serving as a "gateway" to further drug abuse—were much overstated. The report urged further study to determine the real level of risk.

    In examining the potential medical benefits of medical marijuana, the IOM report was equally cautious. It described relief from nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy, appetite stimulation for cancer and HIV patients, and treatment of muscle spasticity for patients with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. Though these benefits seem real, the authors of the IOM report point out that we really don't know yet if they are significant or valuable enough to warrant the use of medical marijuana. Again, the report urged further study to determine the real level of benefit.

    However, in the seven years since the IOM report was issued, virtually no research on potential risks and benefits has been done, because the government has blocked such studies. So, we know neither more nor less about medical marijuana than we did seven years ago, whatever the FDA says. Why would the agency inaccurately claim that the science is settled when it isn't? I hardly need to say it: This isn't a medical or scientific conclusion. It's a political one.

    This is certainly not the first time that politics has trumped science at the FDA. Another recent example: the agency's decision to block over-the-counter availability for emergency contraceptives in the face of overwhelming evidence that the treatment is safe and effective, and support for over-the-counter availability by the FDA's own advisory committee. From my standpoint as a doctor, the question is this: What do you do when federal agencies become so politicized that their recommendations can't necessarily be trusted? Do you have to treat other things they say as suspect? I depend on good advice and honest information from government agencies in the daily conduct of my work. I need to know what epidemic illnesses are circulating in my neighborhood even if that information might put a government agency in a bad light. I need to be able to trust government-sponsored research (especially because, goodness knows, I have learned not to trust manufacturer-sponsored research). I need to know that the advice I glean from government-sponsored agency Web sites will lead to the best care for my patients.

    Marijuana as a medicine—whatever its risk and benefits are eventually determined to be—may turn out to be much less important than the question of whether we can count on agencies like the FDA to be honest in their dealings.

    The FDA's statement on medical marijuana. By Sydney Spiesel - Slate Magazine

  29. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    So you don't think there should be a recognized difference between a guy in a school zone with one crack rock vs. pockets full of them?
    No, there shouldn't. One, because you don't know what any one person's intent is until you prove it with facts. Assuming it is just wrong. Two, the government's idea of levels that indicate intent to sell are often ridiculous. I've known people who grew their own weed who had more than enough in their houses at any given time to go to prison for life. They didn't sell however. Pretty soon having enough Dianabol for one cycle will count as intent to sell because of how they deal with dosage units legally. The laws impose an artificial structure that is more often than not divorced from reality on true intent.

  30. Quote Originally Posted by Dr Liftalot
    ...
    Nothing new here, actually, Doc. Scientists have been politely telling congress, the FDA and the DEA that marijuana really isn't all that bad in the end and probably shouldn't be illegal much less the focus of a drug war. Congress, the FDA and the DEA have been politely ignoring them for decades.
  

  
 

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