PHARMA/POLICY: Crackpots at Hoover

The NY Times gives an op-ed to a crackpot called Henry Miller who used to be a minor official at FDA and is now with the other loonies at Hoover. It’s called Crackpot Legislation in which he goes after those states allowing smoked medical marijuana as medicine. In this op-ed he apparently with a straight face can say this:

When presented with a cannabinoid development program that comports with modern scientific principles, both the F.D.A. and the D.E.A. have demonstrated their willingness to allow it to proceed.

This is complete and utter bullshit. The FDA has with the rest of the US government (including the crackheads at NIDA) in preventing the use of marijuana in clinical trials and medical testing for decades, despite the IOM study. Here’s a statement from a DEA judge (!) on the topic in March.

"NIDA’s system for evaluating requests for marijuana for research has resulted in some researchers who hold DEA registrations and requisite approval from the Dept. of Health and Human Services being unable to conduct their research because NIDA has refused to provide them with marijuana"

Two tiny smoked marijuana studies (including the Abrams one he cites) have been finally allowed after decades of pressure from academics, and now Sativex is being allowed into clinical trials because a) it has a pharmaceutical company behind it which is going to make money off it, and b) because the Brits and Canadians have already allowed it on the market. That action, after thirty years of preventing research into the medical usefulness of marijuana for purely political reasons, does not suggest anything like what Miller calls “willingness.”

Miller thinks that the FDA should be allowed to regulate marijuana. But of course the US government already does regulate marijuana. It’s been a schedule 1 drug, banned since 1937 by Congress incidentally against the then wishes of the AMA with no debate. So what is the FDA’s likely vote on the matter now? To continue the ban of course. Which is why medical marijuana proponents are opposing the amendment to allow the FDA to regulate them, as it’s a back door way of outlawing the progress made at the state level.

The NY Times should be asking itself why it’s allowing such a bunch of half-truths to be published when somewhere between 60 and 80% of Americans are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, and it’s abundantly clear to anyone that the reasons for the continued ban is the politically and economically-inspired persecution of people who want to use marijuana—whether for medicine or pleasure.

And if Miller really thinks that the current drug-policy powers that be will allow Sativex to get past the FDA and be openly sold in the US, then he really is a crackpot.

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2 replies »

  1. How do you expect private, for profit prisons run by Republicans to make any money without a steady stream of minor drug affenders filling the cells. Come on guys, where’s your free enterprise spirit.