Drug Law

Drug Czar Responds to Outraged Marijuana Supporters

| by Marijuana Policy Project

Last week, several thousand MPP members called and e-mailed the White House to express outrage at drug czar Gil Kerlikowske’s statement that “marijuana is dangerous and has no medical benefit.” A big thanks to everyone who took action!

This week, the White House started sending out a form letter in response to our concerns. As you can see from the letter, the old half-truths and outright lies from the Bush administration still infect the drug czar’s position on marijuana.

The letter essentially hides behind a 2006 statement from the FDA, which claims, “No sound scientific studies have supported medical use of smoked marijuana.” There are two problems with this: First, it’s not true. On MPP’s Web site, we’ve posted numerous studies that support marijuana’s medical efficacy. Second, the statement is widely recognized as untrue. When the FDA released it in 2006, health experts and newspaper editorial boards around the country immediately denounced the position as political and unscientific.

The letter also goes to great lengths to frame the issue around “smoked marijuana.” This is a classic tactic used by prohibitionists to link medical marijuana with smoking. However, many medical marijuana patients these days are vaporizing or simply eating marijuana, two delivery methods that virtually eliminate the health risks associated with smoking.