HR 5429 Press Release by Rep. Mark Souder

Press Release by U.S. Congressman Mark Souder
(R-3rd District of Indiana)
Contact: Martin Green
(202) 225-4436

Narcotics Chairman Introduces "Medical" Marijuana Bill in House
Measure Directs FDA to Educate Public About Hallucinogen's Danger

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 6 - U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, introduced in the House today the Safe and Effective Drug Act, legislation that would educate the public about the dangers of marijuana, many of which have been hidden by those seeking to legalize this Schedule I hallucinogen under the guise of medicine.

“There has been much disinformation circulated about ‘medical’ marijuana by groups advocating the legalization of this dangerous drug,” Souder said. “The FDA has never determined smoked marijuana to be safe and effective. Marijuana is not medicine. And it’s time that the FDA fulfills its obligation to the American people by ensuring that they receive the truth about marijuana. Patients who are smoking marijuana are being denied legitimate care that could improve rather than worsen their medical conditions.”

Specifically, the Safe and Effective Drug Act directs the National Institutes for Health to examine the available scientific data regarding the safety and effectiveness of smoking marijuana and requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to post this information and distribute it to those public health entities that advocate or recommend patients smoke marijuana.

Smoked marijuana has never been approved for medical use by the FDA. For several years, the FDA allowed a limited number of seriously ill patients to use smoked marijuana. The program was terminated in 1992 when the Public Health Service stated there was no scientific evidence that the drug was assisting patients, and issued a warning that using smoked marijuana as a form of medical therapy may actually be harmful to some patients.

The Safe and Effective Drug Act has been endorsed by: Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; Drug Free America Foundation; Save Our Society From Drugs; International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drugs; Institute on Global Drug Policy; and Students Taking Action Not Drugs.