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News (Media Awareness Project) - US: LTE: Medical Marijuana: The
Title:US: LTE: Medical Marijuana: The
Published On:2011-11-23
Source:New York Times (NY)
Fetched On:2011-12-01 06:03:07
MEDICAL MARIJUANA: THE GOVERNMENT'S VIEW

To the Editor:

In his Nov. 7 Op-Ed article, "Reefer Madness," Ethan Nadelmann
criticized the Obama administration's position on medical marijuana
and described the debate as "essentially a cultural and political struggle."

The issue of medical marijuana is not about culture and
counterculture. It is not a struggle; it is not a war. It simply comes
down to how we approve medications as safe and effective for use in
the United States. To date, the Food and Drug Administration has not
found smoked marijuana to be either safe or effective medicine for any
condition.

No national medical association has come out in favor of smoked
marijuana for widespread medical use. Further, many public health
organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American
Glaucoma Foundation, National Pain Foundation and National Multiple
Sclerosis Society, do not support smoked "medical" marijuana.

The administration's position is clear: the medication approval
process should remain above the political fray. Smoked marijuana does
not meet scientific standards for safe and effective medicine, and
marijuana use and distribution remain illegal under federal law for
any purpose.

Like our National Drug Control Strategy, it is a position driven by
evidence, not ideology. When it comes to protecting public health and
public safety, the American people deserve no less.

RAFAEL LEMAITRE

Associate Director for Public Affairs

Office of National Drug Control Policy

Washington, Nov. 14, 2011
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