WASHINGTON (BP)[Baptist Press]--An
organization advocating legalization of marijuana for medical use is suing
the federal government over alleged inaccurate information used to warn of
the drug's dangers.
[The inaccuracy is alleged but not the dangers...
I smell bias.]
Opponents of marijuana for medicinal
purposes, however, note that there are justifiable reasons for not
legalizing the drug in such instances.
[But fail to provide sound scientific evidence...
allegedly... hence the dispute. My own research has been quite
disturbing. I can find no proof of marijuana being dangerous.
It is addictive. It can cause cancer if smoked... which is not
unusual if someone is inhaling burnt plant matter. There are ways to
reduce or eliminate this risk. One can use a vaporizer, or simply
ingest the substance.]
Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a
pro-medical marijuana group, has filed a lawsuit citing the Department of
Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration as defendants.
The lawsuit calls for both HHS and the FDA to retract the claim "there
have been no studies that have scientifically assessed the efficacy of
marijuana for any medical condition." [this is accurate]
The FDA's stance "on
medical cannabis is incorrect, dishonest and a flagrant violation of laws
requiring the government to base policy on sound science," said Joe
Elford, chief counsel for ASA. [this is
The Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF), a foe
of medical marijuana, has countered, "It is important to realize that the
campaign to allow marijuana to be used as medicine is a tactical maneuver
in an overall strategy to completely legalize all drugs."
[Ad absurdem. really. ASA is an
organization representing suffering individuals. This appears to be
a very general statement with no basis in truth. They fail
to provide rationale... which isn't necessary. The christian
presupposition(unfortunately) is one of us verses them. There is
little use for rationale... opposition is assumed and typically in a
hyperpolar degree. Therefore, it is easy to make statements that
implicate strong agendas without substantiation. We are a morally
The DFAF is a non-governmental
organization committed to developing global strategies and policies to
reduce illegal drug use, drug addiction, drug-related injury and
[Drug Free America Foundation is a Non-Govermental
Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and
Social Council of the United Nations. I am ignorant as to how this
could influence the organization's impartiality. However, most
Americans accept the government's indoctrination to a greater or lesser
degree. I am speaking with conviction, that the government
originally used very strong statements about marijuana... claiming users
could experience death, insanity, possession, that daughters would run off
and have sex with negroes(Anslinger's choice of words, not mine),
hispanics, or entertainers... I'm limiting myself, here. DFAF might
be inclined to take another stance if they were in possession of all the
Barrett Duke, the Southern Baptist Ethics &
Religious Liberty Commission's vice president for public policy, expressed
concern over the lack of knowledge about marijuana, citing 400 chemicals
in the drug that scientists have very little information on. A longtime
foe of medical marijuana, Duke said this means states do not have
mechanisms in place to assure the quality of the drug that is being used
or the knowledge to discern the effects of the chemicals on the human mind
[THC is already dispensed legally, under the name
Marinol. It is impossible to identify and understand every chemical
constituent of every plant. Lack of information is not bad
information... it is lack of information. The humans who use
cannabis have been studied, and experience the same healthy levels of
activity in the central nervous system. Cannabis can prevent
alchohol related brain-cell death by up to 60%. There are many
benefits to be had aside from therapeutic use... but my aim, here, is
to refute any inaccurate information rather than promote the use of
cannabis. And throw in my two cents.
A mislplaced fear of uncertainty is a
powerful way to gather support.]
In response to such
concerns, Kris Hermes, legal campaign director for ASA, said even if there
are negative side effects from marijuana, the person who is suffering
should be free to choose those consequences over living with the symptoms
of his medical condition.
[Ah. Libery. I agree. First, it
must be determined whether cannabis is harmful. This is what ASA is
disputing. If the adverse affects of cannabis are neglible, assuming
there are any, then, I believe, any benefits would merit letting such a
decision rest in the minds of reponsible Americans.]
basis for its suit, the ASA cited the Data Quality Act (DQA), an amendment
passed in 2001 to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity
of information disseminated by federal agencies. The ASA said multiple
scientific studies confirm the medical efficacy of marijuana, as evidence
of why HHS should retract its claims about marijuana.
[This is accurate. The DQA puts the truth in
HHS has delayed requests filed under
the amendment in the past, according to the ASA, which claimed it had no
other option than to file a lawsuit asserting that the government's
statements deter sick and dying people from obtaining the medical relief
[The Department of Health and Human Services has
also refused appeals from ASA. ASA is challenging the government to
provide proof of it's claims. The DQA was enacted for such
purposes. I find this reasonable and expected.]
FDA does not comment on pending litigation, the agency's senior policy
advisor, Kathleen Quinn, said in response to a Baptist Press request for
reaction to the Feb. 21 lawsuit. [ASA did release
Duke and Hermes also disagreed on the broader
impact of medical marijuana.
The legalization of marijuana for
medicinal purposes will reduce the drug's stigma[this is true, and
everything should be viewed as it really is], resulting in many
people becoming "more comfortable with the idea of its use[This is
probable. I have yet to hear a substantiated claim of why this would
be a bad idea], and some of them will decide to experiment with
it[Let every American choose whether they will break the law..
rather than bending the truth to nip it in the bud]," Duke said.
"This experimentation will certainly lead to increases in drug use by all
age groups, and especially by youth."
[Prove it. Still, I have yet to find
credible evidence to merit this caution.]
expressed no concern about this possibility, however.
"If ... Duke
can show evidence in the states that have passed medical marijuana laws
that such laws have directly increased drug use among the broader
population, I might have a reason to comment," Hermes said.
Drug Free America Foundation, meanwhile, has said medical marijuana
initiatives and bills address protecting the rights, privacy and safety of
the user, but that is only part of the issue. The DFAF warned such
measures offer no explanation as to how states intend to keep marijuana
cultivators and users from distributing to minors, driving under the
influence, consuming in public places or endangering others they come in
[Much of this is addressed by looking at how
alchohol and its use is regulated. It's not complicated. Set
and enforce laws. People will distribute to minors. People
already do. The Lutheran church prompted a bill in 2006 that would
legalize cannabis in the state of Nevada. They believed that
prohibition increases use by minors, because unscrupulous drug dealers do
not discriminate between age groups. They believed that legalizaton
would remove much of cannabis from the black market... at least in
"Marijuana decriminalization legislation puts
society at risk of drug-related injury, illness, addiction and death," the
[This is a serious statement. Again, prove
it. People should exercise the same discretions with cannabis as
they do with alchohol. One shouldn't show up at work drunk.
Likewise with cannabis. There is no proof of illness. But,
this is what ASA is disputing. There is not one proveable incidence
of death where cannabis was the sole factor.]
states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.
states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use. New Mexico,
[This lawsuit holds promise for those who
suffer. While methamphetamines and ecstacy are classified as
schedule II drugs, marijuana is scheduled more strictly: schedule I.
The difference, according to the powers that be, is that meth and ecstacy
have accepted(albeit rarely utilized) medical value while cannabis
A ruling is expected to return in
summer. If cannabis is determined to have accepted medicinal value,
it will then be rescheduled. This is good news.
Thankyou for your time and
[[Criticized by The