|SOSTANZE D'ABUSO: CANNABIS
IL "MITO" MEDICO DELLA MARIJUANA (DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION)
Say It Straight:
The Medical Myths of Marijuana
Talking Points For Challenging the Medical Use of
- The Medical and Scientific Evidence
||There are over 10,000 scientific studies that
prove marijuana is a harmful addictive drug. There is not one reliable
study that demonstrates marijuana has any medical value.
||Marijuana is an unstable mixture of more than
425 chemicals that convert to thousands when smoked. Many of these chemicals
are toxic, psychoactive chemicals which are largely unstudied and appear
in uncontrolled strengths.
||The harmful consequences of smoking marijuana
include, but are not limited to the following: premature cancer, addiction,
coordination and perception impairment, a number of mental disorders
including depression, hostility and increased aggressiveness, general
apathy, memory loss, reproductive disabilities, and impairment to the
||The Food and Drug Administration, the Drug
Enforcement Administration and the U. S. Public Health Service have
rejected smoking crude marijuana as a medicine.
||Medical marijuana has been promoted for "compassionate
use" to assist people with cancer, AIDS and glaucoma. Scientific studies
show the opposite is true; marijuana is damaging to individuals with
these illnesses. In fact, people suffering with AIDS and glaucoma are
being used unfairly by groups whose real agenda is to legalize marijuana.
- AIDS: Scientific studies indicate marijuana damages
the immune system, causing further peril to already weakened immune
systems. HIV-positive marijuana smokers progress to full-blown AIDS
twice as fast as non-smokers and have an increased incidence of
- Cancer: Marijuana contains many cancer-causing
substances, many of which are present in higher concentrations in
marijuana than in tobacco.
- Glaucoma: Marijuana does not prevent blindness
due to glaucoma.
||Marijuana is currently up to 25 times more
potent than it was in the 1 960's, making the drug even more addictive.
||Americans take their medicine in pills, solutions,
sprays, shots, drops, creams, and sometimes in suppositories, but never
by smoking. No medicine prescribed for us today is smoked.
||The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana,
THC (Tetra Hydrocannabinol), is already legally available in pharmaceutical
capsule form by prescription from medical doctors. This drug, Marinol,
is less often prescribed because of the potential adverse effects, and
there are more effective new medicines currently available.
||While a biomedical or causal relationship
between marijuana and the use of hard drugs has not been established,
the statistical association is quite convincing. Twelve to 17 year-olds
who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those
who do not. Sixty percent of adolescents who use marijuana before age
15 will later use cocaine. These correlations are many times higher
than the initial relationships found between smoking and lung cancer
in the 1964 Surgeon General's report (nine to ten times higher).
||Major medical and health organizations, as
well as the vast majority of nationally recognized expert medical doctors,
scientists and researchers, have concluded that smoking marijuana is
not a safe and effective medicine. These organizations include: the
American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, National
Sclerosis Association, the American Glaucoma Association, American Academy
of Opthalmology, National Eye Institute, and the National Cancer Institute.
||In 1994, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that
marijuana should remain a Schedule I drug: highly addictive with no
medical usefulness. The court noted that the pro-marijuana physicians
had relied on non-scientific evidence.
- Political Issues: The California and Arizona Ballot Initiatives
California's Proposition 215, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, states:
"Section 11357 (criminal penalties), relating to the possession of marijuana,
and Section 11358 (criminal penalties), relating to the cultivation of marijuana,
shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient 's primary caregiver, who
possess or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the
patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician."
Arizona's Proposition 200, the Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control
Act of 1996, states: "We must toughen Arizona 's laws against violent
criminals on drugs. Any person who commits a violent crime while under the
influence of illegal drugs should serve 100% of his or her sentence with
absolutely no early release. " The proposition then goes on to say doctors
may be permitted "to prescribe Schedule I controlled substances to treat
a disease, or to relieve the pain and suffering of seriously ill and terminally
Both of these ballot initiatives passed, with 56% support for Proposition
215 and 65% support for Proposition 200.
||The language in these ballot initiatives for
California and Arizona are so loosely worded that they basically legalize
marijuana for everyone, sick or well, adult or child. Physicians will
be able to legally dispense marijuana for migraines, depression or any
||Legalizing marijuana through the political
process bypasses the safeguards established by the Food and Drug Administration
to protect the public from dangerous or ineffective drugs. Every other
prescribed drug must be tested according to scientifically rigorous
protocols to ensure that it is safe and effective before it can be sold.
||The California ballot initiative will make
marijuana available without a written prescription, bypassing all established
medical guidelines for dispensing drugs.
||The Arizona ballot initiative will legalize
all Schedule I drugs for medical use. Schedule I drugs are drugs that
have a high potential for abuse and have no currently accepted medical
use in treatment. Examples of Schedule I drugs are marijuana, LSD and
heroin. Under Arizona's proposition all of these drugs would be essentially
legalized for any so-called medical use.
||Both of these laws allow for the possession
of marijuana for medicinal purposes, however, buying and selling marijuana
will remain illegal.
||These ballot initiatives were passed through
a major disinformation campaign financed by wealthy individuals from
outside these states. The billionaire financier George Soros gave over
half a million dollars to support these initiatives. Other significant
contributors include George Zimmer, president and CEO of the Men's Wearhouse
clothing store chain, Peter Lewis of The Progressive Corporation Insurance
company in Ohio, and John Sperling, CEO of the Apollo Group, a Phoenix
holding company for numerous educational institutions.
||The true agenda for Proposition 215 and 200
is revealed when you examine the backers of these initiatives. The National
Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Drug Policy Foundation
and the Cannabis Buyers Club in San Francisco have spearheaded the passage
of the propositions. The radical legalization agenda of these groups
leaves little doubt about their broader goal to legalize marijuana and
other drugs. As reported in High Times magazine, the director
of NORML expressly stated that the medical use of marijuana is an integral
part of the strategy to legalize marijuana. A former director of NORML
told an Emory University audience that NORML would be using the issue
of medicinal marijuana as a red herring to give marijuana a good name.
- Social and Cultural Issues
||The medical marijuana movement and its million
dollar media campaign have helped contribute to the changing attitude
among our youth that marijuana use is harmless. This softening in antidrug
attitudes among teens has led to a 140 percent increase in marijuana
use among high school seniors from 1994-95.
||The pro-legalization organizations behind
these ballot initiatives deny that there is a drug problem among our
youth. As much as they seek to focus on people suffering with illnesses,
we must keep the debate properly centered on the safety of our kids.
In a time where drug use among kids has increased 78 percent in the
last four years, this country cannot afford to undermine drug prevention
efforts with these pro-marijuana ballot initiatives.
||The strategy to link marijuana with current
legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco is used regularly by the
pro-legalization groups. The response to this argument is to state that
current use among teens is 50 percent for alcohol, 34 percent for tobacco
and 19 percent for marijuana. If we want to see marijuana use among
youth equal to alcohol and tobacco, then we should go ahead and legalize
||Legalizing marijuana would add a third drug
that combines some of the most serious risks of alcohol and tobacco.
Marijuana offers both the intoxicating effects of alcohol and the long-term
lung damage of tobacco.
||Tobacco companies similarly advertised cigarettes
as medicinal until the Federal Trade Commission put a stop to it in
1955. Medicinal marijuana is the "Joe Camel" of the promarijuana lobby,
since it is children, the first time users, who are most impressed by
these erroneous health claims.
a cura del Gruppo Evelink - release dicembre 2000 - Fonti: CD-ROM "Stupefacente",
a cura della Guardia di Finzanza; Il sito ufficiale dell'UNOCCP (United
Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention); Medline
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