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PHARMA/POLICY: The NY Times misses the point on medicinal marijuana

The New York Times has a very dumb article about medical marijuana called Medicinal Marijuana on Trial, which suggests that medical marijuana hasn’t been properly proved by clinical trials.

Well leaving aside that plenty of drugs have been approved by the FDA which have had less than full trials, there are three points not made in the article.

1st: Medical marijuana has been broadly favored by an Institute of Medicine report, and the Federal government has been sending it out for years to a very few patients.

2nd: There have been no major trials in the US, and precious few elsewhere, precisely because the DEA has stopped it for purely political reasons. So this article, which shows modest benefits from the few studies that have been done, but irrelevantly claims that this is outweighed by the impact on teenagers who smoke vast quantities of marijuana for no medical purpose. So we deny sick people medicine because of the actions of other people.  Well in that case, we shouldn’t allow Percocet for people coming out of surgery, because some people are heroin addicts.  Illogical rubbish and the NY Times should know better.

3rd: Most importantly, like Ginko, vitamins, fish oil and God knows how many other "cures", sick people take medical marijuana because they think it makes them feel better and healthier.  Making people feel better is the point of medical care. Rightly or wrongly people should be allowed to have what they believe to be medicine.  And despite some 75% of the country being in favor of allowing medical marijuana, it’s purely political grandstanding by extremist (and predominantly family values Christian) groups–being used as a front for the vast amount of money that the taxpayer has to pour into law enforcement–that has opposed sick people getting what they believe to be medicine.  Shameful.

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Disgusted with Politics

This is true in so many ways; I am sick of the marketing game politicians are playing with medical marijuana, and the gross disregard for the medical benefits and will of the people. Thanks for writing this.