An article by longtime medical marijuana opponents Drs. Eric Voth and Dr. Richard H. Schwartz of the International Drug Strategy Institute — an anti-drug think tank based in Topeka, Kansas — rejecting the use of marijuana as a medicine should not be interpreted as a new research study, cautioned Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation.
The article, published Wednesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is based on the assumptions of the authors after reviewing a portion of the hundreds of existing studies published in the 1970s and 1980s pertaining to marijuana’s medical potential. The authors admit that they failed to consider anecdotal accounts of marijuana’s medicinal effectiveness when drawing their conclusions.
The findings of Drs. Voth and Schwartz differ dramatically from similar efforts conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Institute of Medicine (1982), the Australian Government’s National Task Force on Cannabis (1994), and the National Institute’s of Health’s (NIH) own findings this past February. After reviewing the scientific evidence, all three entities concluded that there exists ample evidence demonstrating marijuana’s medical potential in the treatment of various illnesses such as AIDS wasting syndrome, glaucoma, spasticity disorders, and the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy.
“Drs. Voth and Schwartz represent the most strident wing of America’s anti-medical marijuana crusade,” explained St. Pierre. “Their ‘review’ of the modern scientific literature hardly qualifies as research and represents little more than their preconceived opinion.”
For more information or for a copy of NORML‘s position paper: Review Of Human Studies On Medical Use Of Mariiuana, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8571.