Archive for June, 2011
The global war on drugs has failed, a high-level commission comprised of former presidents, public intellectuals and other leaders studying drug policies concluded in a report released Thursday.
International efforts to crack down on drug producers and consumers and to try to reduce demand have had “devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” the report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy said. Read the rest of this entry »
“We are not far from a time when pot will be hailed as a wonder drug.”
The following is the text of a speech by Lester Greenspoon, M.D. recently delivered to the 2011 NORML conference.
In 1967, because of my concern about the rapidly growing use of the dangerous drug marijuana, I began my studies of the scientific and medical literature with the goal of providing a reasonably objective summary of the data which underlay its prohibition. Much to my surprise, I found no credible scientific basis for the justification of the prohibition. The assertion that it is a very toxic drug is based on old and new myths. In fact, one of the many exceptional features of this drug is its remarkably limited toxicity. Compared to aspirin, which people are free to purchase and use without the advice or prescription of a physician, cannabis is much safer: there are well over 1000 deaths annually from aspirin in this country alone, whereas there has never been a death anywhere from marijuana. In fact, when cannabis regains its place in the US Pharmacopeia, a status it lost after the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, it will be seen as one of the safest drugs in that compendium. Moreover, it will eventually be hailed as a “wonder drug” just as penicillin was in the 1940s. Penicillin achieved this reputation because it was remarkably non-toxic, it was, once it was produced on an economy of scale, quite inexpensive, and it was effective in the treatment of a variety of infectious diseases. Similarly, cannabis is exceptionally safe, and once freed of the prohibition tariff, will be significantly less expensive than the conventional drugs it replaces while its already impressive medical versatility continues to expand. Read the rest of this entry »