Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
DrugWarRant
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch

DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
facebooktwitterrss
April 2005
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Archives

Authors

Sativex

I’ve been holding off talking about GW Pharmaceuticals’ Sativex, but now I think Rob Kampia has written an excellent article – at Alternet – The Lesson of Sativex.

On April 19, the Canadian government delivered what should be the final blow to the U.S. government’s irrational prohibition against the medical use of marijuana. It approved prescription sale of a natural marijuana extract — for all practical purposes, liquid marijuana — to treat pain and other symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis. …

In short, the Canadian government has just certified that virtually everything our own government has been telling us about marijuana is wrong. In defiance of a large and growing pile of scientific studies, our government still claims that marijuana has no medical value. White House Drug Czar John Walters even compared medical marijuana to “medicinal crack.” …

Make no mistake: Sativex is liquid marijuana. It is nothing like Marinol, the synthetic THC pill sold in the U.S. and sometimes falsely touted as an adequate substitute for marijuana.

Sativex is a whole-plant extract, containing the rich variety of naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids that are unique to marijuana. It also contains trace elements of other compounds contained in the plant, which scientists believe contribute to its therapeutic value. …

Now if Sativex makes it here, I haven’t been sure what that would mean. Would this be further reason for the government to say that medical marijuana (the plant we use now) is unnecessary because Sativex is available?
Rob addresses that question, too.

Sativex is to marijuana as a cup of coffee is to coffee beans. If Sativex is safe and effective, marijuana is safe and effective. And Sativex is safe and effective. Studies have shown significant effect against pain and other symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis and other debilitating conditions. Over 600 patient-years of research have established a remarkable record of safety. …

And even if Sativex is approved here someday, it won’t be the answer for every patient now benefiting from medical marijuana. For one thing, it has been clearly shown that different strains of marijuana — with different blends of cannabinoids — work better for some conditions and less well for others. Sativex just comes in one formula, and it won’t be right for everyone.

And Sativex will be expensive. Will we force patients to buy a pricey pharmaceutical version of a plant they could grow themselves for pennies? At a time when our health care system is drowning in rising costs, that’s insane. We could end up with a policy every bit as silly as telling coffee drinkers that they can buy a cappuccino, but they’ll be arrested on sight if caught in possession of coffee beans.

Of course, our government isn’t one to avoid a policy just because it’s silly.
It’s going to be interesting.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

Comments are closed.