London, United Kingdom: A recent statement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alleging that no animal or human data support the use of cannabis for medical purposes lacks "common sense," according to an editorial in today¹s edition of The Economist.
The editorial notes that the FDA's conclusion contradicts the findings of a comprehensive 1999 review by US Institute of Medicine, and ignores the reality that "today, cannabis is used all over the world ... to relieve pain and anxiety, to aid sleep, and to prevent seizures and muscle spasms."
The piece criticizes the US government for impeding clinical research investigating cannabis' medical potential, and for refusing to allow patients legal access to the drug - noting that there is an "unmet medical need" that could be addressed by cannabis "if the American government cared more about suffering and less about posturing."
Since the FDA published its statement last week, more than two-dozen newspapers - including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, and the Chicago Tribune - have editorialized against it, arguing that the agency is putting politics before science.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the editorial, "Marijuana is medically useful, whether politicians like it or not," is available online at: http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=6849915