Drug Czar Bashes Medpot
Medical marijuana not worth the risks
By JOHN P. WALTERS
Published on: 12/01/04
So-called "medical" marijuana is in fact a medical breakthrough straight from the 19th century.
Back then, Americans were exposed to a host of patent medicine "cure-alls." Most "cures" were alcohol, which explains why they made people "feel better." Marijuana was also available as an elixir for everything from migraines to gonorrhea.
Passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1907 exposed those claims, and today Americans enjoy the world's safest, most effective medical system, built on an unequaled process of scientific research and testing.
Marijuana advocates point to a thick study by the National Academy of Science as justifying the drug's medical use.
But the verdict of that 1999 report was that "marijuana is not a modern medicine." The authors described smoking marijuana as a "harmful drug delivery system."
Nor has the Food and Drug Administration approved smoking marijuana for any medical use.
It noted, "While there are no proven benefits to marijuana use, there are many short- and long-term risks associated with marijuana use."
By the standards of modern medicine, medical marijuana simply does not pass the test.
• John P. Walters is director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.