Pubdate: Fri, 12 May 2006
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal (KS)
Contact:  2006 The
Author: Laura A. Green


The FDA's claim that there are no scientific studies documenting the
medical benefit of cannabis is false. Dr. Eric Voth, who recently
rehashed the government's long-standing political position in his
letter to this paper, knows this is true because in 1999, the
Institute of Medicine declared, "Nausea, appetite loss, pain and
anxiety are all afflictions of wasting and all can be mitigated (with

IOM report co-author Dr. John Benson told the New York Times last
month that the government "loves to ignore our report. ... They would
rather it never happened."

The FDA did no new study or analysis. Its statement is politics, plain
and simple. The fact that there are five people receiving 300
marijuana cigarettes from the federal government every month is
something the FDA would like us to forget.

The IOM report also concluded there was no evidence that cannabis
acted as a gateway to harder drugs. It further said there was no
evidence that medical use of cannabis would increase its use among the
general population.

Studies clearly show that cannabis has some benefits for some

LAURA A. GREEN, executive director, Drug Policy Forum of Kansas