The 4/20 Advisory

The 4/20 Advisory
Posted by CN Staff on May 11, 2006 at 06:56:08 PT
By Mick Farren
Source: Los Angeles City Beat 
California -- When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its recent one-page “inter-agency advisory,” stating that “marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States,” the outcry was immediate. Doctors, patients, and medical marijuana advocates angrily charged the FDA with walking roughshod over current research data. The FDA’s only response was that of spokeswoman Susan Bro, who claimed the advisory was “a combined review by federal drug enforcement, regulatory and research agencies.”
Only comedian and longtime pot defender Bill Maher seemed cynically amused by the advisory, and noted it had been leaked to The New York Times on April 20 – the “4/20” of stoner code – and then wondered, during his monologue on Real Time with Bill Maher, if the FDA had picked the date because even the feds knew their pronouncements were nonsensical. The FDA statement evoked major fury because it totally ignored the 1999 review by the Institute of Medicine, a part of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, that found marijuana “moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting,” and also confirmed marijuana’s effectiveness in treating anorexia and nerve pain, while dismissing the canard that marijuana acted as a “gateway” to harder drugs. The New York Times followed its initial 4/20 story with a scathing editorial. “The Bush administration’s habit of politicizing its scientific agencies was on display again this week when the Food and Drug Administration, for no compelling reason, unexpectedly issued a brief, poorly documented statement disputing the therapeutic value of marijuana.” Protests also came from a bipartisan group of 24 House members led by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), who called on the agency to offer scientific proof for its position. In a letter to FDA Acting Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, the group demanded to be shown “evidence that you have new scientific proof or that you oversaw clinical trials.” Hinchey also accused the agency of playing politics with people’s lives. “We saw it with the agency’s decision on the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, and we’re seeing it again with medical marijuana: the FDA is making decisions based on politics instead of science.” The FDA’s motives also came under fire from Caren Woodson, Director of Affairs at Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the leading medical marijuana coalition. “Even with polls showing an 80 percent approval for medical marijuana use, politics is trumping science, ignoring the evidence while sick people are suffering.” With medicinal marijuana now legal in 11 states, but the DEA continuing to arrest and harass users and distributors, the FDA has been under pressure to make a definitive statement. Woodson, however, says of the 4/20 statement, “The government is circulating misinformation that ignores scientific data.” Misinformation has, of course, been a major weapon in the war on pot since Harry Anslinger demonized weed in the 1930s, with tales of homicidal hopheads, to provide employment for G-men made redundant by the repeal of alcohol prohibition. The FDA’s new statement not only continues that tradition, but caves to traditionalist drug warriors like Rep. Mark Souder (R-In.), who firmly believes efforts to legalize medicinal marijuana are an evil front for full recreational decriminalization. The release of a document as contemptuously dismissive as this one, however, may backfire on the feds. On May 2, lawyers for thousands of patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis demanded that the Department of Health and Human Services respond to an ASA petition filed 18 months ago claiming federal policies on medical marijuana are in violation of the Data Quality Act (DQA). The legal maneuvers are complex, but it’s essentially a squeeze play to force the reclassification and recognition of reefer as legitimately therapeutic. Also, the FDA may have undermined their 4/20 position when they gave the OK for human testing by the British company, GW Pharmaceutical, of a drug called Sativex: a cannabis extract already approved for sale in Canada that could ultimately be packaged as an inhaler, not unlike the familiar pocket aerosols for asthma relief. By approving Sativex, the FDA has not only opened the door to definitively testing a form of marijuana, but also demonstrated that Washington bureaucrats may be more impressed by packaging than either science, common sense, or public opinion. The FDA’s recent pronouncement that pot has no medical value has generated outrage from Congress to The New York Times.Source: Los Angeles City Beat (CA)Author: Mick FarrenPublished: May 11, 2006Copyright: 2006 Southland PublishingContact: editor lacitybeat.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Americans For Safe Access Report Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana Advocates Slam ‘Politicized’ FDA Report Loses Credibility With Jab at Medical Pot 
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Comment #8 posted by mai_bong_city on May 11, 2006 at 15:24:34 PT
dongenero, apologies
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Comment #7 posted by mai_bong_city on May 11, 2006 at 15:23:17 PT
thank you 
dongero, et al -and if i don't get back before, happy mother's day to all moms and those with moms.peace.mbc
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Comment #6 posted by whig on May 11, 2006 at 12:29:45 PT
You are saying you agree with those that believe the current regime is permanent. Have some faith in God.
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Comment #5 posted by museman on May 11, 2006 at 11:44:20 PT
Truth never stopped a bullet, or the pillage of the earth, or the evil 'Rule of Law' made by the rich, of the rich, and for the rich. Only one solution , and it ain't gonna happen. No matter how many, or how high the percentage of people that know, support, and spread the truth, as long as they/we take their money, and buy their 'goods' we can yell and scream all we want, while they laugh all the way to the bank.
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on May 11, 2006 at 11:39:05 PT
I wish you strength and peace in the illness you are facing.Statements like yours steel all of our resolve to fight for what is right.
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Comment #3 posted by whig on May 11, 2006 at 10:54:00 PT
We cannot convince them, we have to win. This is a contest between the truth and lies. We just need to get the truth out. We just need to keep talking to people. Those in authority, they are evil. They will never be our friends, unless they change themselves and repent. And they will not do this until they have no other choice.The good news is, we will win, because the truth does prevail, given time.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 11, 2006 at 10:51:01 PT
Vent away. Most of us here feel the same desperation. This shouldn't be.
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Comment #1 posted by mai_bong_city on May 11, 2006 at 10:48:18 PT
i just wanna' know...
how much longer?? how much more pain is there going to be? will i make it? will anybody?? i realize it's a nonsensical world at this point, our country and this damned government - and the destruction of our planet....what is it going to take? what is going to move this, finally?? how many more times do i have to barf my guts out and scream from pain in my head and the nightmares of this damned multi-detructive sick?? geezus people are leaving the earth in utter horror and black conditions, waiting and waiting and being patient and holding on with every last ounce of their battered bodies' strength.
is it endless, this fight? will it be the same if i die now or ten years from now?? we get one step forward and ten back, it feels like - reason has no ability to affect these bastards?? 
we change the laws in our states, they come after us regardless of what our citizens say....they cut off our supplies and seed sources in other countries, tell them get the hell out!!! 
what is the way around this?? what does every ounce of misery add up to, in the end?
i see a place way down the road, and i'm not in the's an eon away, maybe....but i already know i won't see it . is it worth it to struggle, to look desperately for a way to grow one's self-sustaining garden, to feel not filthy looks anymore when just trying to make it from car to door without hurling bile on the sidewalks in spasm??
i know one thing only. or it's what i believe, anyway, whatever you wanna' call it - and that is that we all get the 'heaven' we deserve. i know that in mine, the garden won't ever die.
just the very fact that there is this help, this CURE even, out there, that people are being denied - human rights my rear.
whatever god there be, please bless us all.
and especially those that spread truth love and peace and cannabis seeds, everywhere.sorry if this seems ranting and psychotic - please know of course i am not directing it at anyone here - it's my frustration, with the others, out there, that even presented with fact and reason continue to grin as we groan and expire.......right now i just hate the situation. i hate sickness and torture and war and the whole bloody insanity of it all. our souls and minds can not have been made to accept such circumstance....i want to scream that whoever created this plant defend it - strike down the liars with fire, or something, what will it take?i wish all of you more peace than i have myself, today. thanks for letting me vent. it helps to do that in a place where i know it is understood completely, with no need to really explain.mbc
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