Last updated on: 9/21/2007 | Author:

Henry Miller, MD Biography

Former Director of the Office of Biotechnology at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“In their 1999 report, the Institute of Medicine’s panel of experts flatly rejected the idea that herbal (usually smoked) cannabis would ever be considered a safe and effective medicine for widespread use…. It is not the F.D.A. but the 11 states that have passed laws allowing the use of smoked marijuana for various medical problems that are at odds with the Institute of Medicine’s position…. Smoked marijuana cannot be subjected to careful, well-controlled trials, because it does not come in a standard, reproducible formula or dose, and cannot meet the accepted standards for drug purity, potency and quality. Different strains of cannabis vary radically in their cannabinoid composition and in the contaminants — fungi, bacteria, pesticides, heavy metals and other substances — they contain. And smoking is not a precise way of delivering any substance to the bloodstream.

Other plant-derived drugs — morphine, codeine and Taxol, to name a few — have made it through the F.D.A.’s review process, and there is no reason drugs made from cannabis should not be required to meet the same standards.”

Editorial, New York Times, Apr. 28, 2006

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, 1996-Present
  • Member, United Nation’s Codex Alimentarius Committee on GM foods
  • Adjunct Scholar, Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Director, American Council on Science and Health
  • Director, Consumer Alert
  • Scientific advisor, George C. Marshall Institute
  • Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy, Hoover Institution, 1994-1996
  • Founding Director, Office of Biotechnology, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 1989-1993
  • Medical Reviewer and Special Assistant to the Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 1979-1989
  • MD, University of California San Diego
  • MSc, University of California San Diego
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?