Does Science Matter?

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by DoobieDuck, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. In my inbox thismorning an interesting piece. Something I think most of us will agree thatScience does matter and has proven its case already for years... Peace…DD

    Does Science Matter?

    by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 31, 2012

    A dozen years ago, California lawmakers did somethingextraordinary. They authorized investigators throughout California to conduct aseries of FDA-approved, gold standard trials to assess whether cannabis is safeand effective as a medicine.

    In all, researchers conducted more than a dozen clinicalstudies examining whether cannabis could meet objective standards of safety andtherapeutic efficacy. For example, investigators at the University ofCalifornia, San Francisco, assessed whether vaporizing cannabis could rapidlyand consistently deliver the plant's active ingredients to patients in a mannerthat is far safer than smoking. It could. At UC San Diego, clinicians examinedwhether inhaling cannabis posed potential harms to the immune system,particularly in subjects suffering from immune-compromised conditions like HIV.It didn't. And at universities throughout the state, investigators studiedwhether marijuana provided statistically significant relief in a number ofhard-to-treat conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and neuropathic (nerve)pain. Cannabis did so – consistently.

    Summarizing the results of California's novel, nearly $9million medical cannabis research program in the Open Neurology Journal, theprogram's director, Dr. Igor Grant of UC San Diego wrote: "Based onevidence currently available, the (federal) Schedule I classification (ofcannabis) is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medicalvalue, or that information on safety is lacking."

    Nonetheless, policymakers – particularly those in Washington– have responded to these most recent scientific findings with no more than acollective yawn. Despite pledging to let "science and the scientificprocess … inform and guide decisions of my administration," neitherPresident Barack Obama nor Congress have taken any steps to amend federal lawor federal policy to reflect the scientific reality that marijuana possesseswell-established therapeutic value. In fact, this administration has taken justthe opposite approach.

    In 2011, the Obama administration quashed out-of-hand anadministrative petition that sought federal hearings regarding the presentclassification of cannabis as a substance with "no currently acceptedmedical use in treatment in the United States." In its rejection, theadministration alleged, "The drug's chemistry is not known andreproducible; there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate andwell-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualifiedexperts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available."

    Yet, the findings from California's 12-year-old studyprogram show that each of these claims is demonstrably false.

    Of course, when it comes to marijuana policy in the UnitedStates, science has never played a significant role. This reality is unlikelyto change any time soon. Speaking to the New York Times in 2010, a spokesmanfor the National Institute on Drug Abuse – one of the primary agencies involvedin crafting U.S. drug policy – acknowledged: "As the National Institute onDrug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuanause. We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficialmedical effects of marijuana." Even more alarming, a 2011 White Housereport affirmed that only 14 researchers in the United States possess the legalpermission to even conduct research assessing the effect of inhaled cannabis inhuman subjects.

    "Change we can believe in?" Hardly. More like:"See no evil; hear no evil."

    It is long past time to reject the notion that we as asociety possess insufficient evidence regarding the safety and efficacy ofcannabis. The truth is that we know plenty. Most of all we know that thereremains no valid scientific reason to justify the continued targeting,prosecution and incarceration of those Americans who consume cannabisresponsibly.

    © Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

    Paul Armentano of Vallejo is the deputy director of NORML
  2. Science means squat to DC's owners. Yes, I said OWNERS. The OWNERS, not the politicians, not We The People, it is the OWNERS that don't give a shit about science, they thrive on the WOD.

    Want to see some real OUT all politicians holding office, ALL OF THEM.
  3. then what?? absolutely no government?? now we're gonna have anarchy??
  4. No... now we're gonn'a all be high and happy. lol jk no but seriously the way it is now science doesn't matter. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It just sucks that the government pushes their opinion on the uninformed feeding them lies and propaganda statements saying that cannabis is bad and causes people to die.

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