Friday, April 21, 2006
In the news: FDA rejects medical pot
In a statement issued "in response to numerous inquiries from Capitol Hill" (per NYT 4/21), the FDA says "smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment." This contradicts the findings of a 1999 review by the Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, which found marijuana was "moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting."
Remember back when FDA was a trusted guardian of public health, when it could be trusted to let science speak for itself? Back then, a statement like this one would have carried some serious heft. Now, you look at the FDA statement and you compare it to IOM's, and you think about the research that's been conducted (mostly in other countries) since 1999, and you think to yourself, "Well, why would they come to opposite conclusions?" And you have to wonder about the influence that DEA has, and anti-marijuana politicos have, on what FDA says about marijuana.
The message the public gets from FDA today is: "There is no accepted or proven medical use for marijuana." But the other, less publicized, message from FDA seems to be: "And quit looking for one."
I don't know if there's a medical use lurking inside the evil green weed, but it looks increasingly like we're never gonna know, at least not in this country.
Link to WaPo article.
Link to NYT article.
technorati tag: medical marijuana