1 .There are already pharmaceutical drugs with cannabis content that are available in the market. Why use medical marijuana when there are already two FDA-approved drugs with synthetic cannabinoids?
- Sativex. Recommended treatment for neuropathic pain and spasticity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Serves as an analgesic treatment for adult patients with advanced cancer experiencing moderate to severe pain. Although not yet FDA-approved in the US, it is already approved in UK, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Finland, Israel and Norway. Has pending US-FDA approval subject to result of test.
- Dronabinol / Marinol. Recommended treatment for nausea, vomiting of cancer patients, appetite stimulant for HIV patient, analgesic to ease neuropathic pain in sclerosis patients. US-FDA approved.
- Nabilone/Cesamet. Used for treatment of nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing cancer treatment.US- FDA-approve.
2. Lack of qualified medical professionals to handle medical marijuana. This is one of the major reasons why The Florida Medical Association represented by 20,000 physicians oppose legalizing medical marijuana in their state. Imagine thousands of people without prior or little medical training handling marijuana that will be used as ‘medicine’.
3. Cannabis will put children at risk of addiction and IQ regression. There are scientific studies claiming that one out every six kids who used marijuana will end up being addicted to it. Kids being cured with medical marijuana will end up dependent to it even after their treatments. Furthermore, there are research studies that showed marijuana can cause irreparable drop to a kid’s IQ. In short, the bad effects medical marijuana for kids outweighs the benefits they can derive from them.
4. Marijuana is not medicine. Dr. Stuart Gitlow, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine argues that ‘Marijuana should not be approved outside of FDA-approved channels’. Since marijuana is not medicine, it cannot be prescribed by physicians nor could it be sold at a pharmacy. Whole-plant marijuana still lack clinical testing involving thousands of patients. To be accepted as medicine, marijuana required FDA validation for its risks, benefits and dosage.
Simply put, Dr. Gitlow concludes, “"There is no such thing as medical marijuana,".
5. Marijuana harms other body systems. Yes, perhaps marijuana can take away pain or give some comfort by stopping nausea. However, users must also be wary of the harm it can do to other body systems. For instance, regular use of marijuana can damage cells in the bronchial passages and decrease protection against inhaled microorganisms. Marijuana weakens the respiratory and immune systems, so the critics of medical marijuana claim.
Among several studies, Dr. Donald P. Tashkin’s "Effects of Marijuana on the Lung and Its Immune Defenses” cites scientific evidences on the effects of marijuana to health.