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Is Marijuana Medicine?


Marijuana is ILLEGAL under Federal Law!


What do the Experts Say?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the unprocessed marijuana plant or its crude extracts have no accepted medical use.


Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance.


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agree with the placement of marijuana s a Schedule I drug on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This is the most restrictive schedule.


Marijuana meets the three criteria for placement ins Schedule I under 21 U.S.C. 812(b)1:

  • Marijuana has a high potential for abuse.

  • Marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States

  • Marijuana has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Smoked marijuana does not meet the FDA criteria to be approved as a medicine. To be accepted by the FDA as a medicine, the following criteria must be met:

  • The drug chemistry must be known and reproducible.

  • There must be adequate safety studies.

  • There must be adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy,

  • The drug must e accepted by qualified experts.

  • The scientific evidence must be widely available.

The following organizations all support the FDA approval process and have expressed either opposition to or concern over the use of smoked marijuana as a therapeutic product: American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Cancer Society, American Glaucoma Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Society of Addiction Medicine.


Research demonstrates the Health and Safety Risks From the Use of Marijuana:

  • Is addictive for many.

  • Impairs short-term memory.

  • Alters judgment and decision-making.

  • Reduces motor coordination and reaction time.

  • May cause cancer risk to children when marijuana was used during pregnancy.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)


More research is needed to identify any chemicals within the marijuana plant that may have medical benefits. Then the appropriate dosage levels and safe means of administration could be determined.


What do the Medical Experts Say?


American Medical Association:

"...cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern." AMA recommends, " ...modification of state and federal laws to emphasize public health based strategies to address and reduce cannabis use."


Food ad Drug Administration (FDA):

"The FDA has not approved any product containing or derived from botanical marijuana for any indication. This means that the FDA has not found any such product to be safe or effective for the treatment of any disease or condition."


Academy of Pediatrics:

"Given the data supporting the negative health and brain development effects of marijuana in children and adolescents, ...AAP is opposed to marijuana use in this population." "The APP opposes legalization of marijuana because of the potential harm to children and adolescents."


Medications That Contain Cannabinoids (Safe Alternatives)


Dronabinol (Marinol) and Nabilone (Cesamet) are two medications that are approved by the FDA to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people who have AIDS.


A drug called Epidiolex has recently been created to treat certain forms of childhood epilepsy. It still needs to go through trial studies to be approved by the FDA.


Sativex is currently approved in the UK to treat spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). It is in Phase III clinical trials in the U.S. to establish its effectiveness and safety in treating cancer pain.


NOTE: Today, a handful of trials, called "compassionate use" of marijuana are being conducted. Expanded access, or compassionate use, is an FDA regulation that allows experimental drugs (such as those involving some form of pot) to be administered only to a few seriously ill patients who meet certain FDA criteria. One such example is having an immediately life-threatening disease, and having no other options for treatment.


This information is available in a trifold handout from Signal Press. Order today.


For more information visit the National Institute of Health (NIH) website:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana


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