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FDA Rejects Medical Marijuana

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:29 am
by Shayk
Hi all

Just saw an article in the Washington Post FDA Rejects Medical Marijuana
WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it does not support the use of marijuana for medical purposes....

contradicts a 1999 finding from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, which reported 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."....

Bruce Mirken, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said Thursday: "If anybody needed proof that the FDA has become totally politicized, this is it. This isn't a scientific statement; it's a political statement."...

The FDA statement noted "there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful." It also said, "There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana."

Mirken responded, "There is abundant evidence that marijuana can help cancer patients, multiple sclerosis patients and AIDS patients. There is no scientific doubt that marijuana relieves nausea, vomiting, certain kinds of pain and other symptoms that don't respond well to conventional drugs, and does it more safely than other drugs.

"For the FDA to ignore all that evidence is embarrassing," Mirken said. "They should be red-faced."
I certainly think there was sufficient evidence for another decision. I am very disappointed.


Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:20 am
by Arron
shortsighted! They are also implicitly saying that the Canadian FDA, which approved Sativex, doesn't know what it's doing. More options for MSers-- and all disease sufferers-- is always a good thing. It is not enough to say "there are treatments out there already" because they don't work for everyone.

Re: FDA Rejects Medical Marijuana

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:30 am
by HarryZ

Unfortunately, any time that politicians get involved with anything, they often ignore science! How sad.

My wife has attended the Pain Clinic here in London, Canada. The neuro offered her 4 different drugs for her spasms and pain. One of them was medical MJ which she could obtain from the hospital pharmacy. Marg chose instead to try another drug first but can always ask for MJ if she wants.

This neuro told us that medical MJ does work in certain situations and that they have seen its success time and time again. He also approved of Marg using Sativex as a supplement to the Lyrica she is trying at the moment.

Fortunately the politicians up here listen to the scientists more often and let Health Canada (our version of the FDA) do their job.


Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 7:10 pm
by Shayk

I think "shortsighted" is a kind understatement.

I really don't understand how the FDA can note "there is sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful" in their rationale for rejecting it when they will probably approve Tysabri for MS with an estimated risk that 1 in 1,000 will develop PML. Are the harmful effects of marijuana comparable to the risks of Tysabri? I don't think so.


I quite agree with you about politicians. It's nice to know the Canadian government and I'm guessing some other countries as well pay attention to scientific evidence.

Take care everyone--no tokin' just yet. I was so looking forward to eventually asking for it as an ADA accommodation at work too. :wink: