Without randomized controlled trials, how can we verify the efficacy of medical marijuana

For those who continue to push the title of this post as a way to deny medical marijuana, I strongly recommend participating in this study

Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials

Gordon C S Smith, professor and Jill P Pell, consultant

Objectives To determine whether parachutes are effective in preventing major trauma related to gravitational challenge.

Design Systematic review of randomised controlled trials.

Data sources: Medline, Web of Science, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases; appropriate internet sites and citation lists.

Study selection: Studies showing the effects of using a parachute during free fall.

Main outcome measure Death or major trauma, defined as an injury severity score > 15.

Results We were unable to identify any randomised controlled trials of parachute intervention.

Conclusions As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.


[Just in case anyone missed it, this “study” is a really hilarious satire making fun of those who demand randomized control trials before accepting anything.]

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16 Responses to Without randomized controlled trials, how can we verify the efficacy of medical marijuana

  1. strayan says:

    DuPont laments dearth of evidence on random student drug testing. Can’t figure out why no one can get ethics approval to study it: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03978.x/abstract

  2. Windy says:

    Right now on Coast to Coast they are discussing the drug war and the health benefits of marijuana. Both the host and the guest are pro ending the drug war. The message is getting louder and more widespread. This is a GOOD thing!

  3. Pingback: Without randomized controlled trials, how can we verify the efficacy of medical marijuana « Drug WarRant

  4. Duncan20903 says:

    “We just don’t know enough about merrywanna to say…”

    The A.M.A.: Marijuana Warning”
    Time Magazine June 28, 1968 (subscription required)

    The notion that marijuana is safer for the user than alcohol, or at least no worse, has become one of the soothing and glibly repeated cliches of the day. Increasing numbers of medical men agree with it, among them James L. Goddard, who recently resigned as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Alarmed by widespread and often unverified acceptance of the idea, the A.M.A. and the National Research Council last week took a joint potshot at the drug in what the A.M.A. called a “major position paper” (translation: a report that

    Can someone tell me how many more decades we’re going to allow them to get away with this bullshit? 4.4 decades isn’t enough time to do the studies? It’s obvious to me that the alleged dearth of studies is an excuse that the prohibitionists don’t want to give up.

    • darkcycle says:

      Of course. They set it up that way. They would have never demanded research if they didn’t control exactly what is studied and who studies it. That institutional block was carefully constructed and has been jealously protected. They’re not really stupid, although they are capable of doing a remarkable impression.

  5. Servetus says:

    I was unable to identify any randomized controlled trials of planetary glaciation as well. Sometimes the laws of physics are all you have.

  6. Rita says:

    You won’t end the drug war by arguing about drugs because neither it nor the prohibition that spawned it has ever been about drugs. The only question that matters is whether any of us has the right to sovereignty over our own bodies. The relative safety and/or “efficacy” of individuals drugs is irrelevant.

    • claygooding says:

      When you expose false science and the people paying for it you widen the gap of people from the sheeple,,,fighting for a liberty sheeple do not realize they have lost is an abstract effort with little change in the support for government propaganda,,exposing lies and skewed statistics changes those numbers much quicker and makes the next salvo of prohibitionist bullshit easier to repudiate.

    • You are most right that it has never been about drugs. With the lies in place the truth will never be believed. Exposing the lies will expose the teller of the lies. With at least 50% or more of the population favoring legalization now, I would say that this is not irrelevant. If a drug is blamed for the “badness” successfully, it is a short trip to believing the user of the bad to be bad also.

  7. C.A.J. says:

    I’m not here to defend the notion that we need randomized, double-blind studies to legalize marijuana. Marijuana should be legal even without them and even if someone, somewhere can identify a real harm from it. But the parachute analogy is not illuminating. No one needs to do a randomized trial to determine that falling from great heights is dangerous. But the effects of marijuana–whether beneficial or not–may not be so obvious. One would never say, for instance, that doctors should recommend a new AIDS drug without trials to determine its efficacy and side effects. But that’s a very different animal than ascertaining whether, as a matter of public policy, people should be prohibited upon pain of imprisonment from using a substance that they choose to ingest.

    If marijuana were legalized, it would be not only reasonable but prudent to conduct as many well-designed studies as possible to find out whether it might have some heretofore unrecognized harm. Then, people can be advised about that harm before they decide whether to use it. You know, like with alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, aspirin, acetominophen, pig fat, refined sugar, white bread, . . . .

  8. kaptinemo says:

    OT: If anyone had any doubts as to the level of collusion between the US Gub’mint and the cartels in Mexico, this should help remove them:

    US, Mexican Officials Brokering Deals with Drug “Cartels,” WikiLeaks Documents Show;
    Revelation Exposed in Email Correspondence Between
    Private Intelligence Firm and Mexican Diplomat

    I knew when they grabbed Niebla there’d be some very embarrassed faces in Warshington. “Pull a string; get a snake.”

    • claygooding says:

      It’s terrible,,not only are we fighting the industries depending on hemp remaining illegal but apparently elements of our government are in the drug market up too their necks,,makes me even more determined to grow my own so I don’t support criminals,,foreign and domestic.

    • Servetus says:

      “…paints a picture of a ‘simulated war’ in which the Mexican and US governments are willing to show favor to a dominant narco-trafficking organization in order to minimize the violence and business disruption in the major drug plazas, or markets.”

      Not to mention the ATF funneling arms in Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious to competing cartels so said cartels can more effectively eliminate each other. Why else the cases of precision .50 caliber Barrett rifles?

      I see nothing to indicate a minimization of drug war violence in Mexico. Just business as usual, black op style.

  9. Is Marijuana Addictive? (DEBATE)

    I say repeat the truth as many times as it takes. It will start to sink in. It already has. It will more.

  10. kaptinemo says:

    I’d say that 12K years of ‘randomized controlled trials’, i.e. natural selection of survivors of those ‘testing’ plants via trial-and-error, have proven cannabis’s non-lethality.

    The prohibs really have no sense of shame, they really don’t. They don’t see just how desperate they look. They scrape, scrape, scrape the bottom of the rationalization barrel, but they’ve all been used before, every single one, about 40 or 50 times, now. Really sad…

    • Duncan20903 says:


      We haven’t any knowledge of the long term effects of any new substance that the FDA approves for distribution. How the heck can we know the long term effects of a substance invented only a few years ago? For all we knew in 1998 Viagra might have made your dick fall off after 18 months of use.

      On the other hand, there is that island full of Rastafari 600 miles or so east of Florida who have been smoking pot constantly since at least 1930.

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