Smoked Medicine

Remember how all the drug warriors always harp on the fact that marijuana can’t be medicine because it’s smoked? It’s been their way of glossing over the fact that there are so many studies that definitely demonstrate that marijuana has accepted medical value (and that would, by definition, remove marijuana from Schedule 1). So they say “Well, there’s no such thing as smoked medicine” (conveniently ignoring that you can ingest it in numerous ways, while dismissing the fact that smoked marijuana is more effective than Marinol, in part due to its fast delivery system).
In fact they try to make it sound ludicrous:
At a DEA site:

There are no smoked medicines. Have you ever heard of anyone who smoked medicine? After all we know about the dangers of cigarette smoking, why would the scientific community approve smoked marijuana?

John Walters:

I don’t support decriminalizing marijuana use. I do not support assertions that marijuana is a proven-effective medicine. We have the most sophisticated medical system in the history of humankind in Western civilization. Not a single one of the medicines used in that system is a smoked medicine.

But now, we have this enthusiastic press release of a Reuters news story: “Smokable” pain drugs promise faster action

For Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is developing drugs for migraine, pain, panic and agitation, “fast” has to mean “within seconds.”
The Palo Alto, California-based company is developing drugs that can be “smoked,” and, like nicotine in cigarettes, pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream almost instantly.
Investors like the idea.

So maybe smoked medicine is only medicine if it’s promoted by a pharmaceutical company…

“What makes this an exciting story is how broadly applicable the technology could prove to be,” said Charles Duncan, an analyst at JMP Securities, which helped take the company public for $8 a share a year ago.

The “technology”?

Alexza was formed by biotechnology entrepreneur Alejandro Zaffaroni, who also founded nicotine-patch developer Alza. His latest venture is not the only company that is developing inhaled therapies: Nektar Therapeutics and Alkermes Inc. develop powdered insulin.
But Alexza’s idea of heating up a drug to create a vapor, or smoke, is unique. [emphasis added]

You mean like what this company has been doing for 10 years? Or what this study was trying to accomplish for years while being blocked by the DEA and NIDA?
The fact that the Reuters article doesn’t even mention marijuana is downright ridiculous. Is reporter Toni Clarke completely clueless? Has she never heard of marijuana, or is she working for the pharmaceuticals?
When is a major reporter going to connect the rather obvious dots, and ask John Walters to explain how smoked medicine is OK for Alexza, but not for marijuana?
I’ll wait.

[Thanks to Brian and Jay]
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