Dispatches from the Drug War

The reefer madness continues this week as the federal government puts out more false propaganda aimed squarely at convincing people who might be sitting on the fence that drugs are bad, mmmkay? And only the federal government can tell you which drugs you’ll be allowed to use, science or no science.

The FDA, once again putting politics ahead of science, released a statement on Thursday (4/20) regarding the medical uses of smoking marijuana. Despite scientific and empirical evidence to the contrary, the FDA falsely claims that not only is there no medical benefit to smoking marijuana, “there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful.”

A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), concluded 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. — Food and Drug Administration

What they fail to mention is that they didn’t want to find any sound scientific studies, or they certainly would have.

The Food and Drug Administration statement directly contradicts a 1999 review by the Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific advisory agency. That review found marijuana to be “moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting.”

Dr. John Benson, co-chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee that examined the research into marijuana’s effects, said in an interview that the statement on Thursday and the combined review by other agencies were wrong.

The federal government “loves to ignore our report,” said Dr. Benson, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “They would rather it never happened.” — New York Times

The Times also has interviews with several scientists who have tried to research marijuana, only to find the government blocking their research at every turn.

The government also ignores people like Steve Kubby, who was told by his doctors more than 30 years ago that he had only months to live because of a rare form of adrenal cancer. But smoking marijuana daily has allowed Kubby to live a mostly normal life. I say mostly normal because the government really doesn’t like living proof that their claims are false. Kubby was only recently released from jail in California, where he nearly died due to not having access to marijuana.

But back to SAMHSA for a moment. While these bureaucrats were busy making up stories about marijuana, they were also busy making up plans to put as many children as possible on antipsychotic drugs starting as early as possible. So completely natural drugs which actually bring people some benefits are right out, and getting the whole population diagnosed as bipolar, depressed or schizophrenic, and medicated as such, is right in.

Anyway, the FDA claims that because alternate drugs like Marinol exist, it’s not necessary to smoke marijuana. Once again, just ask Steve Kubby. While in jail, his jailers, watching his condition deteriorate, finally agreed to give him Marinol. It was enough to keep him alive, but not nearly as well as the real thing.

There is still much we don’t understand about the way the human brain works, and the way that drugs of all types interact with the brain to produce the effects they do. And as long as the government continues to interfere with science, this situation, reminiscent of the Dark Ages, is likely to persist.

Let me be clear: The Food and Drug Administration’s policy kills people indirectly. And when that’s not enough, their enforcers, the Drug Enforcement Administration, go out and kill them directly. It’s time to end the War on Drugs, as it’s become not only war on people who are doing nothing wrong in the first place, it’s become a war against scientific progress.

One thought on “Dispatches from the Drug War

  • February 5, 2007 at 6:04 am

    Instead of all of this energy and effort directed at the war to end drugs, how about a little attention to drugs which will end war? ~Albert Hofmann

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