Pubdate: Thu, 25 Jun 2015
Source: Fayetteville Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2015 Fayetteville Observer
Author: Paul Armentano


The marijuana plant possesses an extensive history of human use 
dating back thousands of years, thus providing society with ample 
empirical evidence as to its relative safety and efficacy ("Our View: 
Medical marijuana should be allowed in North Carolina," June 1). 
Moreover, cannabis and its compounds are among some of the most 
well-studied biologically active substances of modern times. A search 
on PubMed, the repository for all peer-reviewed scientific papers, 
using the term "marijuana," yields more than 20,000 scientific papers 
referencing the plant and/or its constituents, nearly half of which 
have been published just within the past decade.

Among this extensive body of literature are well over 100 randomized 
controlled studies, involving thousands of subjects, evaluating the 
safety and efficacy of cannabis or individual cannabinoids. (For the 
sake of comparison, a 2014 review of FDA-approved medications in the 
Journal of the American Medical Association reported, "The median 
number of pivotal trials per indication was two.")

A review of several of these clinical trials assessing cannabis, 
published in The Open Neurology Journal, concludes, "Based on 
evidence currently available the Schedule I classification (for 
cannabis) is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no 
medical value, or that information on safety is lacking." You can 
read this review online here:

State lawmakers are willfully ignoring modern science and 
overwhelming public opinion by refusing to consider legislation to 
allow qualified patients access to this safe and effective therapeutic agent.

Paul Armentano, deputy director, National Organization for the Reform 
of Marijuana Laws

Washington, D.C.
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