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November 2004
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Time to switch from Marijuana to Vioxx

I am so sick of drug warriors telling us that marijuana is not medicine, and that it’s dangerous because it hasn’t gone through a certain set of approval hoops, including FDA approval. This, despite the fact that marijuana has been used safely for thousands of years, by millions of people without a single recorded case of a fatal overdose, or any indications of connections to mortality. And it is this “danger” from which we wish to protect terminally ill patients. (“Yes, if you stop smoking marijuana, you may die in a couple of months. However, if you continue to smoke marijuana, in 30-40 years, you might have taken in enough carcinogens to give you another disease, although there’s no proof of that, and we can’t have that. So, we’re going to have you die now.)
And then I read this article in the Christian Science Monitor: How drug-approval woes crept up on FDA. The article tells how the FDA is influenced by the pharmaceutical companies, and some of the disasters that make it through because of the greed and commercial interest. An example: Vioxx made it through FDA approval for a while before it got yanked. In the meantime, it’s estimated that 139,000 people had heart attacks and strokes from taking it and 55,000 people may have died.
Pharmaceutical companies don’t want medical marijuana to succeed because they can’t make money off something you can grow in your back yard. Pharmaceutical companies want the FDA to fast-track their synthetic drugs because those are money trees.
And we’re the ones who pay. And die.

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