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Medical Marijuana Facts

The medical use of marijuana enjoys wide public support. More than 70% of respondents to recent surveys agree that marijuana should be available medically. Sources: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. Feb. 14-19, 2001 and The Gallup Poll. March 19-21, 1999.

Marijuana is safe. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young stated in his 1988 ruling, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. [The] provisions of the [Controlled Substances] Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance." Source: In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, Docket #86-22, September 6, 1988, p. 57.

Marijuana can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Approved by approved voter initiative in 1998, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act allows for the use of marijuana to treat cancer, glaucoma, AIDS/HIV, cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures (epilepsy), and persistent muscle spasms (Multiple Sclerosis). Currently, more than 300 Oregon physicians participate in this program. A blue ribbon panel of physicians, nurses, and patients appointed to review new indications added agitation from Alzheimer's Disease to this list in July 2000. Source: Oregon Department of Human Services, Medical Marijuana Program, http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ommp/index.shtml

Smoked marijuana is effective. Evaluation of controlled studies conducted in six different U.S. states indicates that smoked marijuana is 70-100% effective in controlling the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and substantially outperformed the synthetic THC capsule (Marinol¨) and other commonly prescribed antiemetics. Source: Effects of Smoked Cannabis and Oral D9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol on Nausea and Emesis after Cancer Chemotherapy: A Review of State Clinical Trials, Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Vol. 1(1) 2001, p. 29. Richard E. Musty and Rita Rossi.

Marijuana is not a "gateway" drug. According to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, "There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a stepping stone [to other drugs of abuse] on the basis of its particular physiological effect·It does not appear to be a gateway drug to the extent that it is the cause or even that it is the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse." Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A. Benson, Jr. (1999) Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine. Washington DC: National Academy Press. Chapter 3, pp. 98-100.

Medical groups support marijuana. Numerous prestigious medical organizations support access to medical marijuana. These include American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Preventive Medical Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Lymphoma Foundation of America, National Association of People with AIDS, National Women's Health Network, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Source: Patients out of Time. http://www.medicalcannabis.com/ 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 15:10  

Medical Marijuana News

Maternal Tobacco and Alcohol Use, But Not Marijuana, Associated With Psychotic Symptoms In Offspring, Study Says

Wales, United Kingdom: The maternal use of tobacco and alcohol during pregnancy is linked with increased incidences of psychotic symptoms in adolescents, according to the results of a longitudinal study published in the October issue of The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Investigators at the University of Bristol in Great Britain assessed whether maternal use of tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis during pregnancy increased the risk of psychotic symptoms in their offspring. Researchers examined the drug use habits of the mothers of over 6,300 adolescents – approximately 12 percent of which exhibited some symptoms of psychosis.

Authors concluded: "Frequency of maternal tobacco use during pregnancy was associated with increased risk of suspect or definite psychotic symptoms (in offspring.) Maternal alcohol use shows a non-linear association with psychotic symptoms, with this effect almost exclusively in the offspring of women drinking >21 units (approximately a half-pint of beer or a glass of wine) weekly. Maternal cannabis was not associated with psychotic symptoms."

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Maternal tobacco, cannabis and alcohol use during pregnancy and risk of adolescent psychotic symptoms in offspring," appears in the British Journal of Psychiatry.