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Argument: There are less dangerous, equally effective alternatives to marijuana

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Supporting quotations

Bill Frist, MD Former US Senator (R-TN). ProCon.org. Oct. 20, 2003: Based on current evidence, I believe that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms."[1]


California Narcotics Officers Association. Official policy statement "The Use of Marijuana as a Medicine" Oct. 31, 2005: "Marinol differs from the crude plant marijuana because it consists of one pure, well-studied, FDA-approved pharmaceutical in stable known dosages. Marijuana is an unstable mixture of over 400 chemicals including many toxic psychoactive chemicals which are largely unstudied and appear in uncontrolled strengths."


John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ) and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate, stated the following during a Sep. 30, 2007 campaign Town Hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire: "Every medical expert I know of, including the AMA [American Medical Association], says that there are much more effective and much better treatments for pain than medical marijuana... I still would not support medical marijuana because I don't think that the preponderance of medical opinion in America agrees with [the] assertion that it's the most effective way of treating pain."[2]


John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ) and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate, stated the following during a Sep. 30, 2007 campaign Town Hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire: "Every medical expert I know of, including the AMA [American Medical Association], says that there are much more effective and much better treatments for pain than medical marijuana... I still would not support medical marijuana because I don't think that the preponderance of medical opinion in America agrees with [the] assertion that it's the most effective way of treating pain."[3]


Wayne Roques, former President of Drug Watch International. "Medical Marijuana Pain Sufferers Who Smoke for Relief Want to End Stigma of Breaking Law." Miami Herald. April 8th, 1993: "There are other medicines that are just as good with less- damaging side effects. Marijuana gives false hope to people that it is the solution to their problems."


The American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Assessment of Marijuana in the Treatment of Glaucoma." May 2003: "Based on reviews by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the Institute of Medicine and on available scientific evidence, the Task Force on Complementary Therapies believes that no scientific evidence has been found that demonstrates increased benefits and/or diminished risks of marijuana use to treat glaucoma compared with the wide variety of pharmaceutical agents now available...

The [American] Academy [of Ophthalmology] Task Force on Complementary Therapies believes that based on a search of published peer-reviewed literature, no scientific evidence has been found that demonstrates increased benefits and/or diminished risks of marijuana use to treat glaucoma compared with the wide variety of pharmaceutical agents now available."[4]


The American Academy of Ophthalmology. May 2003 Task Force on Complementary Therapies. "Assessment of Marijuana in the Treatment of Glaucoma": "Based on reviews by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the Institute of Medicine and on available scientific evidence, the Task Force on Complementary Therapies believes that no scientific evidence has been found that demonstrates increased benefits and/or diminished risks of marijuana use to treat glaucoma compared with the wide variety of pharmaceutical agents now available...

The [American] Academy [of Ophthalmology] Task Force on Complementary Therapies believes that based on a search of published peer-reviewed literature, no scientific evidence has been found that demonstrates increased benefits and/or diminished risks of marijuana use to treat glaucoma compared with the wide variety of pharmaceutical agents now available."[5]


The Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group. "Facts You Need To Know About ... Marijuana.": "There is no legitimate need for marijuana as medicine. Pills containing THC are already available with a physician's prescription. The legalization of raw marijuana for medicine is merely an indirect means of legalizing pot for recreational use."[6]


The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). "National Drug Control Strategy 2001.": "Although marijuana smoke delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, it also contains harmful substances, including most of those found in tobacco smoke. The long-term harms from smoking make it a poor drug delivery system, particularly for pregnant women and patients with chronic diseases. In addition, cannabis contains a variable mixture of biologically active compounds. Even in cases where marijuana can provide symptomatic relief, the crude plant does not meet the modern expectation that medicines be of known quality and composition. Nor can smoked tmarijuana guarantee precise dosage. If there is any future for cannabinoid medications, it lies with agents of certain composition and delivery systems that permit controlled doses."[7]

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