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Argument: Smoking marijuana is more damaging than taking chemical parts

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Supporting quotations

Gabriel Nahas, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology and Medicine at Columbia University. "Marihuana Is the Wrong Medicine." Wall Street Journal. Mar. 11, 1997: "The debate over using marihuana as medicine has been distorted by a basic confusion: the implicit assumption that smoking marihuana is a better therapy than the ingestion of its active therapeutic agent THC or a more effective one than approved medications. This assumption is wrong. THC (also known as Marinol) is an approved remedy that may be prescribed by physicians for nausea and AIDS wasting syndrome. It is safer than marihuana smoke."[1]

Karen P. Tandy, JD, former Administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Senate Confirmation hearing. "Responses of Karen Tandy to Questions Submitted by Senator Durbin." Apr. 30, 2003: "The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, has been accepted as having medicinal value when processed into Marinol. Marijuana itself, however, has not been shown to have medical benefits; accodrdingly, I have no basis for believing that marijuana, and smoking marijuana, has any such benefits."[2]

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). "National Drug Control Strategy 2001.": "Although marijuana smoke delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, it also contains harmful substances, including most of those found in tobacco smoke. The long-term harms from smoking make it a poor drug delivery system, particularly for pregnant women and patients with chronic diseases. In addition, cannabis contains a variable mixture of biologically active compounds. Even in cases where marijuana can provide symptomatic relief, the crude plant does not meet the modern expectation that medicines be of known quality and composition. Nor can smoked tmarijuana guarantee precise dosage. If there is any future for cannabinoid medications, it lies with agents of certain composition and delivery systems that permit controlled doses."[3] Dec. 26, 2002. "Q&A/Articles" section: "If there is any benefit to the medical use of marijuana, which remains to be proven, it rests in THC, the active ingredient, and not in the smoke and other chemical contaminants found in the crude plant. We believe that the risks of marijuana use outweigh any potential benefits."[4]

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