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."
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:
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