Terrence P. Farley
11.04.05, 10:27 AM ET
It is hard to believe that in this day and age someone as intelligent as Alan Mozes could write an article about a study of one single synthetic cannabinoid compound and relate that study to “medical marijuana."
First of all, this compound is but one of many cannabinoids that most medical researchers and even law enforcement officials feel should be tested for their efficacy as potential drugs. This has nothing to do with the current laws that permit the smoking of whole marijuana in states that passed so-called medical marijuana laws.
In this study, this synthetically produced compound was injected into the subject rats. Drugs are used either through pills or tablets, injections or even inhalers, not smoked.
Mozes did note that even the head researcher noted, “This treatment is not the same as smoking marijuana. Whether smoking marijuana can produce the same effect, we just don’t know.”
What we do know is:
--The U.S. Public Health Service terminated its smoked marijuana research project when it found there was no scientific evidence that the drug was assisting patients, and it issued a warning that smoking marijuana as a form of medical therapy may actually be harmful to some patients.
--Since 2000, the California Center for Medical Cannabis Research has gained approval for 14 trials using smoked marijuana in human beings and three trials in laboratory and animal models. It has concluded that not one of these researchers has found scientific proof that smoked marijuana is medicine.
--The 1999 Institute of Medicine report on “medical marijuana” indicated there was medical potential for some of the cannabinoid compounds found in the marijuana plant and stated that clinical trials of these compounds should be done with the goal of developing rapid-onset, reliable and safe delivery systems. The report stated that in no way did the institute wish to suggest that patients should, under any circumstances, medicate themselves with marijuana. The study concluded there is no future in smoked marijuana as medicine.
--That the America Medical Association, the American Glaucoma Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Cancer Society and the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies have all taken stands against smoked marijuana as medicine.
Stop adding to the confusion between smoked marijuana and individual cannabinoid compounds found in the marijuana plant. Keep in mind that we don’t eat moldy bread to get penicillin, we don’t chew foxglove flowers to get digitalis, we don’t eat poppy seeds to get morphine and we don’t suck venom from snakes to get anti-venom. The marijuana plant is not medicine.
Terrence P. Farley is first assistant prosecutor, Ocean County, New Jersey, and director of the Ocean County Narcotic Strike Force.