5!Marijuana is NOT a medicine!There currently exists controversy concerning smoking marijuana as a medicine. Manyleaders and members of the public have been misled, by the well financed and organized pro-druglegalization lobby, into believing there is merit to their argument that smoking marijuana is a safeand effective medicine. A review of the scientific research, expert medical testimony andgovernment agency findings shows this to be false. There is no justification for using marijuana asmedicine.
The California Narcotics Officers’ Association consists of over 7,000 criminal justiceprofessionals who are dedicated to protecting the public from the devastating effects of substanceabuse, whether cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana. They have seen firsthand the hurting andoften tragic results, both psychologically and physically, for those who chose intoxication as partof their lifestyles. They have studied the medicinal use of marijuana issue, compiling informationfrom medical experts to present to those we are sworn to protect. It is their firm belief that anymovement that liberalizes or legalizes substance abuse laws would set us back to the days of the’70s, when we experienced this country’s worst drug problem and the subsequent consequences. In the ’80s, through the combined and concerted efforts of law enforcement and prevention andtreatment professionals, illegal drug use was reduced by 50 percent.
Teenagers graduating fromthe class of 1992 had a 50 percent lesser chance of using drugs than did those who graduated inthe class of 1979. Substance abuse rises whenever public attitude is more tolerant towards drugs(i. e. , they are safe and harmless. ) Other factors that contribute to a rise in use include increasedavailability, reduced risk with using or selling and lower prices. In 1993, for the first time in 12years of steady decline, illegal drug use rose and continues to climb.
A major contributing factor isa message that drugs “aren’t so bad. ” To counter this “just say yes” campaign, all of us should feelcompelled to provide the facts on the use of marijuana as medicine. These documented facts willprove beyond a doubt that MARIJUANA IS NOT MEDICINE. FACT: The movement to legitimize marijuana as medicine is not encouraged by thepharmaceutical companies, Federal Food and Drug Administration, health and medicalassociations of medical experts; but instead by groups such as the National Organization for theReform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Drug Policy Foundation (DPF). Theseorganizations have little medical expertise and favor various forms of legalizing illegal drugs. FACT: The majority of the marijuana advocates’ “evidence” comes from unscientific,non-examined or analyzed illustrative statements from people with a variety of illnesses.
It isunknown whether these individuals used marijuana prior to their illnesses or are using marijuanain combination with other medicines. It is also unknown if they had a recent thorough medicalexam or are justifying there use of marijuana, experiencing a remedy effect or experiencing theintoxicating effect of smoking marijuana. FACT: The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana (THC) is already available inpharmaceutical capsule form by prescription from medical doctors. This drug, Marinol, is lessoften prescribed because of the potential adverse effects and there are effective new medicinescurrently available.
FACT: The manufacturers of Marinol, Roxane Laboratories inc. , do not agree with thepro-marijuana advocates that THC is safe and harmless. In the Physicians Desk Reference, a goodportion of the description of Marinol includes warnings about the adverse effects. FACT: Common sense dictates that it is not good medical practice to allow a substance tobe used as medicine if that product is 1) not FDA approved, 2) ingested by smoking, 3) made upof hundreds of different chemicals, 4) not subject to product liability, 5) exempt from qualitycontrol standards, 6) not governed by daily dose criteria, 7) offered in unknown strengths (THC)from 1 to 10 percent, 8) self prescribed and self administered by the patient.
FACT: Since the pro marijuana lobby has been unsuccessful in dealing with the federalgovernment before, they targeted state and local governments to legitimize smoking marijuana asa medicine. A careful examination of their legislative and/or ballot proposals reveals they arewritten to effectively neutralize enforcing most marijuana laws. Crude, intoxicating marijuana,under their proposals, would be easier to obtain and use than even the most harmless, low levelprescription drug. FACT: Major medical and health organizations, as well as the vast majority of nationallyrecognized expert medical doctors, scientists and researchers, have concluded that smokingmarijuana is not safe and effective medicine. These organizations include: the American MedicalAssociation, the American Cancer Society, National Sclerosis Association, the AmericanGlaucoma Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology, National Institute for NeurologicalDisorders and Stroke, National Institute of Dental Research and the National Institute on Allergyand Infectious Diseases.
FACT: There are over 10,000 studies available documenting the harmful physical effectsand psychological effects of smoking marijuana. The harmful consequences include, but are notlimited to, premature cancer; addiction; coordination and perception impairment; and a number ofmental disorders, including depression, hostility, increased aggressiveness, general apathy,memory loss, reproductive disabilities, impairment to the immune system, numerous airwayinjuries and other general problems associated with intoxication. FACT: The medicinal marijuana movement and its media campaign have helped contributeto the changing attitude among our youth that marijuana is harmless, contributing to the increaseof marijuana use among our young people after twelve years of steady decline. What we don’tneed in this society is more intoxicated people on our highways, in workplaces, in schools, incollege or in our homes.