One hurdle still remaining for medicinal marijuana is approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration is currently opposed to the idea of approving marijuana for medical use.
Our Seattle marijuana lawyers know the Food and Drug Administration espouses high standards for its approved drugs but there are contradictions in their stance.
The Food and Drug Administration is quick to point out its high standards for approving a drug treatment as medicine. The Food and Drug Administration marijuana has positive effects and therapeutic benefit for relieving nausea in chemotherapy patients. In addition, marijuana has been linked to appetite stimulation for patients who experience severe weight loss.
Despite these admissions by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency still claims that enough tests have not been conducted to determine whether the benefits of medicinal marijuana outweigh its risks.
The Food and Drug Administration is quick to judge marijuana as unsafe because of what it views as adverse health effects.
Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration is excellent at talking about its guidelines and far less successful at implementing its standards.
Every year FDA approved drugs cause death in patients who use the drugs with a doctors approval.
In the year 2012, the Food and Drug Administration received over 210,000 reports of fatal, disabling, or serious adverse events that were associated with, or caused by therapeutic drugs. This figure represents a 16% increase from 2011.
Furthermore, the most surprising change is a substantial 47.8% increase in patient deaths (45,421 total deaths in 2012). For comparison’s sake there are about 16,000 homicides annually and 35,000 deaths from motor vehicle accidents.
The frightening truth about the Food and Drug Administration’s procedures is that they rely heavily on drug manufacturers to provide them with reports regarding adverse events. Only about 10% of fatal adverse events are reported to the FDA directly through its website or 800-number.
The direct reports to the Food and Drug Administration are more reliable because they are not passed through the filter of drug manufactures.
The Food and Drug Administration approves a drug for medical use without fully understanding all serious side effects. After the drug is taken to market, manufacturer’s become largely responsible for reporting new, previous undiscovered serious side-effects.
If a drug manufacturer discovers or hears about an adverse or fatal event that was previously unknown they are required to report the incident to the Food and Drug Administration within 15 days.
Events that do not fall into the serious or fatal category can be reported with much less frequency (such as annually or quarterly).
The Food and Drug Administration is quick to advertise its strict standards for approval of medicine and explain why it is concerned about medicinal marijuana but the fact is that the FDA never fully “clears” a drug or understands all side-effects prior to allowing large drug manufactures to take the drug to market.
Instead, the Food and Drug Administration allows drugs with unknown, and potentially fatal side-effects to be prescribed by doctors and then relies on the drug manufacturer (the one making money on the sale of the drug) to report when their drug has additional adverse side-effects.
The CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
More Blog Entries:
Marijuana DUI an Increasing Threat Amid Legalization Efforts, January 1, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
California: City Council to Review Bill Allowing Dispensaries , December 29, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog