Just the ramblings of another atheist dismayed by religion's grip on society. Science works.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Marijuana Gets a Federal Recommendation
Probably like many, I get alerts all day every day cluttering my mailbox, usually someone or some idea needing my money.
Today I read an interesting blurb that despite the White House saying they were not going to go after distributors in states where medical marijuana is legal, they raided 28 dispensaries in the last twenty four hours. Made me want to check what the heck is going on.
Never did get to what I was looking for, because of this information:
"As federal battles over medical marijuana across the country heat up, a statement from one federal agency may be a huge asset for medical marijuana dispensaries that have been targeted by the various arms of the U.S. Department of Justice and the IRS.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a division of the National Institute of Health, which is itself one of the 11 component agencies that make up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last week, the NCI quietly added to its treatment database a summary of marijuana’s medicinal benefits, including an acknowledgment that oncologists may recommend it to patients for medicinal use.
The summary cites clinical trials demonstrating the benefit of medical marijuana. Part of it reads:
The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.
Although 34 states have passed laws recognizing marijuana’s medicinal properties and 15 states, plus Washington, D.C., have legalized it for medical use, this is the first time a federal agency has recognized it as medicine. Despite recent developments, Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2009 that the Justice Department would not raid medical marijuana facilities, but at no point did he acknowledge their legitimacy as distribution centers for medicine. A 2001 Supreme Court ruling, meanwhile, declared that medical use of marijuana cannot be considered in any federal court deliberating on a marijuana possession or distribution case.
The new NCI assessment could have an impact on the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the harshest possible drug classification, which has resulted in a prison population in which 1 in 8 prisoners in the U.S. is locked up for a marijuana-related offense. One of the principal criteria for a Schedule I determination is that there be “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” The U.S. Justice Department may have a hard time maintaining that claim if challenged, considering a federal agency now recognizes marijuana’s medical use in cancer treatment."
So how does this happen. We have a federall health entity saying that marijuana does have medical usefulness, but we're going to raid the providers?