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FDA Takes on Medicinal Marijuana

Yesterday the FDA announced that “no scientific studies” support the efficacy of medicinal marijuana. This statement contradicts the conclusions of a review from the Institute of Medicine, the country’s most prestigous scientific advisory agency. A review that concluded that marijuana is ‘moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting.’

Extrapolating from this, it’s an effective treatment for the nausea and vomiting that can accompany migraine. Anecdotally it also alleviates chronic pain.

My blood is boiling. Political ideology vilifies a drug that’s less
harmful than much of what we take to control pain. It can also cause less impairment than some patients experience with opioids.

Scientific data is the crux of the debate. Factions against medicinal marijuana say that no good scientific data exists to support it’s use. Proponents argue that the strict regulations on researching marijuana’s medical use make it impossible to engage in the clinical trials required to develop said scientific data.

The NY Times article examines both sides of the debate. I admit that it’s biased toward my view, but I think it makes a good argument. Unfortunately, the man in the picture that accompanies the story looks more like he’s at a smoky bar, enjoying a good high. Thus illustrating that artistic photography can undermine a well-presented argument.

Update, 10:14 a.m.: Typepad, the blogging tool that I use, creates a post’s permanent URL from the title of the post. For this post, it’s “fda_takes_on_me.” If only I wielded that much power.

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Medical Marijuana in California

This has been all over the news since Saturday, but I missed it somehow. In case you did too, here’s the release: California Suspends Medical Marijuana IDs.

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Marijuana’s Painkilling Compounds

I’m not ready to jump into the debate about medical marijuana, but there’s no denying it’s been big news lately. WebMD and USA Today both published articles yesterday that address components of marijuana that may control pain.