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More MS news articles for April 2004

Letter: Marijuana has many proven medical benefits

April 22, 2004
Bruce Mirken - Director of Communications, Marijuana Policy Project
The Collegiate Times

The claim in your editorial that the medical benefits of marijuana are “purely speculative” is incorrect (“Marijuana too risky for pediatric care,” CT, April 21).
In a 1999 study commissioned by the White House, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences concluded, “Nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.”

Dozens of scientific studies document that marijuana and its active components, called cannabinoids, can relieve nausea, muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and pain from a variety of causes — including pain that is refractory to standard treatments. In an April 2003 review of the data, The Lancet Neurology noted, “Cannabinoids inhibit pain in virtually every experimental pain paradigm.”

The “New England Journal of Medicine,” the most respected medical journal in the world, has called for legal access to medical marijuana — so have the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine and dozens of other medical and public health organizations. In its January 30, 1997 editorial, the “New England Journal of Medicine” noted that opposition to medical marijuana comes primarily from “bureaucrats whose decisions are based more on reflexive ideology and political correctness than on compassion.”

The journal’s words are even truer today than they were seven years ago.

Copyright © 2004, The Collegiate Times