The National Review on Arnold and marijuana

1

Category : Medical Rants

Regular readers know my position on drug legalization. While I admit that I do push the edge with that position, I am most adamant on the medical marijuana issue. Arnold agrees, as does this National Review writer. Terminator on Pot

The flash point in the marijuana wars at the moment is the fight over the medical use of the drug. Schwarzenegger is in favor of legalizing it, as are most Californians. The state passed a ballot initiative permitting the medical use of marijuana with 55 percent of the vote in 1996. Eight other states have legalized it as well, creating friction with the feds, who don’t want grievously ill patients to get relief if it means taking the untoward expedient of lighting a joint.

Of course, if the congressmen who maintain the federal prohibition on medical marijuana had to put their heads in toilet bowls several times a day to vomit from the effects of chemotherapy, they might be less categorical in condemning what some patients do to relieve their nausea. But the federal government has never been famous for its common sense or flexibility, so the war against medical marijuana lumbers on, even in the states that have legalized it.

Since the feds systematically suppress attempts to study the potential medical benefits of marijuana, the most important datum in the debate is simply this: Some patients say smoking marijuana is the best way that they can get relief from the nausea associated with chemotherapy and the wasting illness associated with HIV/AIDS. Smoking the drug works better for some patients than Marinol pills, which contain pure THC and have more side effects.

The New England Journal of Medicine has advocated the legalization of medical marijuana. In May, the journal Lancet Neurology reported that marijuana’s active components alleviate pain in almost every lab test, and called it potentially “the aspirin of the 21st century.” Earlier this year, the New York State Association of County Health Officials came out in favor of medical marijuana.

The ill health effects of marijuana come from inhaling the smoke into the lungs. This isn’t a problem if the use is only short-term, or if the user has a terminal disease. Consumer Reports (no less) writes “that for patients with advanced AIDS and terminal cancer, the apparent benefits some derive from smoking marijuana outweigh any substantiated or even suspected risks.”

Drug warriors worry that permitting medical marijuana “sends the wrong message” to teenagers. But the popularity of various drugs among youth moves in broad patterns that are not readily influenced by what federal “drug czar” John Walters says or does. And the fact is that ? God bless them ? cancer and AIDS patients aren’t glamorous, and are unlikely to prompt an epidemic of youth pot smoking.

Might medical marijuana be abused? Of course. That’s also true of a host of prescription drugs. But don’t tell Walters. Next he will be trying to deny patients the use of morphine and OxyContin.

What drug warriors really fear is that if medical marijuana is permitted, it will harm their effort to depict marijuana as utterly nefarious and create the opening for a more rational debate about the legal status of the drug. The drug warriors are already losing ground. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws recently celebrated a vote in Congress that had 152 members voting to ease the federal crackdown on medical marijuana.

That’s progress, although the cause still needs a high-profile spokesman. If it happens to be a formerly swinging California bodybuilder who enjoyed the 1970s a little too much, so be it.

As a major advocate for palliative care, I worry that the governmental position (which has existed over several administrations) decrease the ability of some patients to achieve their best possible palliation. We have no compunction about prescribing high doses of morphine (or similar such drugs). In fact, we are appropriately criticized when we do not help these patients achieve adequate pain control Narcotics are drugs of abuse, but they are also drugs of palliation. We should all understand that medical marijuana fits in the same definition. We need brave politicians who understand this issue and champion doing the right thing. One can wish.

viagra
free viagra
buy viagra online
generic viagra
how does viagra work
cheap viagra
buy viagra
buy viagra online inurl
viagra 6 free samples
viagra online
viagra for women
viagra side effects
female viagra
natural viagra
online viagra
cheapest viagra prices
herbal viagra
alternative to viagra
buy generic viagra
purchase viagra online
free viagra without prescription
viagra attorneys
free viagra samples before buying
buy generic viagra cheap
viagra uk
generic viagra online
try viagra for free
generic viagra from india
fda approves viagra
free viagra sample
what is better viagra or levitra
discount generic viagra online
viagra cialis levitra
viagra dosage
viagra cheap
viagra on line
best price for viagra
free sample pack of viagra
viagra generic
viagra without prescription
discount viagra
gay viagra
mail order viagra
viagra inurl
generic viagra online paypal
generic viagra overnight
generic viagra online pharmacy
generic viagra uk
buy cheap viagra online uk
suppliers of viagra
how long does viagra last
viagra sex
generic viagra soft tabs
generic viagra 100mg
buy viagra onli
generic viagra online without prescription
viagra energy drink
cheapest uk supplier viagra
viagra cialis
generic viagra safe
viagra professional
viagra sales
viagra free trial pack
viagra lawyers
over the counter viagra
best price for generic viagra
viagra jokes
buying viagra
viagra samples
viagra sample
cialis
generic cialis
cheapest cialis
buy cialis online
buying generic cialis
cialis for order
what are the side effects of cialis
buy generic cialis
what is the generic name for cialis
cheap cialis
cialis online
buy cialis
cialis side effects
how long does cialis last
cialis forum
cialis lawyer ohio
cialis attorneys
cialis attorney columbus
cialis injury lawyer ohio
cialis injury attorney ohio
cialis injury lawyer columbus
prices cialis
cialis lawyers
viagra cialis levitra
cialis lawyer columbus
online generic cialis
daily cialis
cialis injury attorney columbus
cialis attorney ohio
cialis cost
cialis professional
cialis super active
how does cialis work
what does cialis look like
cialis drug
viagra cialis
cialis to buy new zealand
cialis without prescription
free cialis
cialis soft tabs
discount cialis
cialis generic
generic cialis from india
cheap cialis sale online
cialis daily
cialis reviews
cialis generico
how can i take cialis
cheap cialis si
cialis vs viagra
levitra
generic levitra
levitra attorneys
what is better viagra or levitra
viagra cialis levitra
levitra side effects
buy levitra
levitra online
levitra dangers
how does levitra work
levitra lawyers
what is the difference between levitra and viagra
levitra versus viagra
which works better viagra or levitra
buy levitra and overnight shipping
levitra vs viagra
canidan pharmacies levitra
how long does levitra last
viagra cialis levitra
levitra acheter
comprare levitra
levitra ohne rezept
levitra 20mg
levitra senza ricetta
cheapest generic levitra
levitra compra
cheap levitra
levitra overnight
levitra generika
levitra kaufen

Comments (1)

Changing the law, which was passed some time back and classes marijuana as “of no medical value” despite later developments such as marinol, might be very difficult politically, even to reclass it as a prescription drug. There would be a lot of messy fighting about how far to go, other drugs, etc. And then there is the “scientific” objection that dosage could not be pre-determined.

But there may be a simpler way: if the FDA would cooperate, it could “legalize” prescriptions by calling government programs “research”. Politicians whose constituents oppose any loosening could claim they object but cannot overrule the FDA, while those whose constituencies approve could say they support the FDA’s research of what might be an important addition to the pharmacoepia.

For what good it might do, I have mailed this as a suggestion to my federal reps.