After the passage of the medical marijuana legislation proposition 215
in California the American "drug czar" and retired General Barry
McCaffrey declared that there was "not one shred of evidence" that marijuana
had medical uses and denounced it as "Cheech and Chong medicine", after
a marijuana-using team of comedians.
General McCaffrey then made the fatal mistake of ordering a study
from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the Academy of Sciences.
For about $900,000 it was to determine the facts by review existing
literature and talking to patients and doctors to determine what is
known about marijuana as a medicine. The study was finally released
on March 17, 1999. It confirmed that:
This study has basically destroyed any justification for classifying
marijuana with other drugs that are addictive or without established
medical use. See http://www.mpp.org/science.html for some quotes for details.
- marijuana has some well established medical uses,
- it does not lead to harder drugs (gateway or stepping stone theory)
- it's addiction potential is not very serious and
- it's side effects are within the range tolerated for other legal medicines.
The report can be ordered at the National Academy Press website or you can read an
HTML version at the NAP site.