Politics Ignoring Science: Federal Agency Recognizes Therapeutic Benefit of Medical Marijuana

The federal government has maintained for decades, even over the objections of its own Administrative Law Judges, that marijuana (cannabis) is a dangerous drug with no medical value. However, something happened in March to draw attention not only to evidence of marijuana’s beneficial effect on people living with cancer, but also to the government’s glaring hypocrisy around the issue of medical marijuana. In fact, this hypocrisy reveals to Americans the struggle between politics and science, and makes the federal government’s contradictory policies on medical marijuana that much more tenuous.

In March, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of 11 federal agencies under the National Institutes of Health, changed its website to include Cannabis as a Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), with possible benefits for people living with cancer. Specifically, the website read:

The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.

NCI further stated that:

Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years prior to its current status as an illegal substance.

Quite an admission for an agency that answers to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which for years has steadfastly maintained that cannabis “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” Perhaps it was this stark contradiction that compelled NCI to recently alter its web page on medical cannabis.

read more: http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/medical-marijuana/2011/03/politics-ignoring-science-federal-agency-recognizes-therapeutic-benefit-of-medical-marijua#ixzz1I7QuVa5E

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