from Alternet Website
cannabis and cannabinoids
exceed the FDA’s existing
standards for medicine.
Medical cannabis opponents are fond of promoting many myths and misconceptions about the herb.
Here are the
1 - Medical
cannabis is too dangerous to recommend as a medicine
According to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, marijuana possesses an estimated dependence liability of less than ten percent. (Others have acknowledged that pot’s true dependence potential is likely even lower.)
This percentage is approximately the same as anxiolytic drugs like Xanax and Valium and far lower than that of
many other licit prescription drugs or recreational substances, like
alcohol (15 percent) and tobacco (32 percent).
As acknowledged by no less than the DEA’s own administrative law judge,
2 - Medical
marijuana hasn’t yet been subjected to adequate scientific study
Archeologists have identified cannabis-based textiles dating to 7,000 B.C. in northern China and the plant's use as a medicinal and agent date back nearly as far.
For example, in 2008, archeologists in Central Asia discovered over two pounds of cannabis buried in the 2,700-year-old grave of an ancient mummified shaman. After conducting extensive testing on the material's potency, researchers affirmed,
In addition, the marijuana plant is also one of the most studied biologically active substances of modern times.
A search on PubMed, the repository for all peer-reviewed scientific papers, using the term "marijuana" yields nearly 20,000 scientific papers referencing the plant and/or its constituents, nearly half of which have been published just within the past decade. By comparison, a keyword search using the term "Tylenol" yields 17,370 published papers.
A keyword search using the term "ibuprofen’ yields 10,500 published paper.
A keyword search
using the term "Ritalin" yields 7,012 published papers, and a
keyword search using the term "hydrocodone" yields only 630
There aren’t sufficient
clinical trials evaluating pot’s safety and efficacy as a medicine
Most recently, a review of FDA-approved pot trials conducted by various California Universities concluded,
This body of clinical evidence exceeds that of many FDA-approved prescription drugs.
According to a 2014 review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, of the 188 novel therapeutic agents approved by the FDA between the years 2005 to 2012,
No major medical or health organizations support medical marijuana
...support allowing qualified patients to legally access to cannabis therapy.
Most practicing physicians do too.
survey data released this year by WebMD/Medscape, nearly 70
percent of doctors, including over 80 percent of oncologists and
hematologists, acknowledge the therapeutic qualities of cannabis and
56 percent agree that it should be a legal option for patients.
Investigators tracked crime rates across all 50 states in the years between 1990 and 2006, during which time 11 states legalized medical cannabis access. Authors reviewed FBI Uniform Crime Report data to determine whether there was any association between the enactment of medical pot laws and rates of statewide criminal activity, specifically the number of reported crimes involving homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft.
Similarly, a 2012 federally commissioned study reported that the establishment of cannabis dispensaries is not associated with elevated rates of either violent crimes or property crimes.
Writing in the Journal of Adolescent Health in April, researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University assessed the impact of medical cannabis laws over a 20-year period by examining trends in self-reported drug use by high schoolers in a cohort of states before and after legalization.
Investigators compared these trends to geographically matched states that had not adopted medical marijuana access laws during this time.
Further, the long-term inhalation of pot smoke is not associated with increased incidents of lung-related cancers.
According to the results of the largest case-controlled study ever to investigate the matter, ganja smoking is not associated with higher incidences of cancers of the lung or upper aero-digestive tract, even among subjects who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints over their lifetime.
Summarizing the study’s findings to the Washington Post, the study's lead researcher, Dr. Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles affirmed:
These patients inhale conventional medications
for largely the same reasons as do medical cannabis smokers: they
require rapid onset of therapeutic drug effect, they desire the
flexibility to self-regulate their dosage depending on the
circumstances, and the medication they are administering lacks
lethal overdose potential.
Consequently, Marinol lacks dozens of other identified, therapeutically active components available in the plant, as well many of the terpenes present in pot. It possesses poor bioavailability compared to inhaled plant cannabinoids, and its mood-altering effects tend to be far more dysphoric.
surprisingly, when given the choice between Marinol and whole-plant
cannabis, the majority of patients
Of course, that is not to say that the plant, in particular a standardized variety of the herb, could not arguably meet the conventional FDA standards of safety and efficacy. After all, humans have consumed cannabis for thousands of years and it possesses adequate safety profile.
Further, its therapeutic utility is demonstrated in numerous controlled trials.
Arguably, by any objective analysis, cannabis and cannabinoids exceed the FDA’s existing standards for safety and efficacy.