Professor of Internal Medicine in the Section of Gastroenterology-Hepatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
"[B]ecause there are better drugs for those symptoms, I have not changed my position since writing the 1999 IOM Report with Drs. Watson and Joy. I have done no research on marijuana since, so I don't consider myself a contemporary expert on the subject, and no longer grant interviews. Given careful legislated controls and supervision such as in the State of Oregon, I remain weakly 'pro' marijuana as a medical option."
Email to ProCon.org, Oct. 23, 2009
[Editors Note: Dr. Benson had previously been listed as Not Clearly Pro or Con based upon the following quote from the article "From Marijuana to Medicine," published in Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 1999.]
"The IOM report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, released in March 1999, found that marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea and vomiting, AIDS-related loss of appetite, and other symptoms and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials. The therapeutic effects of smoked marijuana are typically modest, and in most cases there are more effective medicines. But a subpopulation of patients do not respond well to other medications and have no effective alternative to smoking marijuana."
Key Experts Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Professor and Dean Emeritus, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University
Professor of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2003-present
Co-Principal Investigator, Institute of Medicine (IOM) report "Marijuana and Medicine; Assessing the Science Base"
Dean and Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, 1991-1993
Member, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Center for Ethics
President Emeritus, American Board of Internal Medicine
Member, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine
Former President, American Gastroenterological Association