What Do You Know? The Drug Czar Is Lying Again

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 11, 2011

    Earlier this week Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske sat down for a face-to-face interview with The Daily Caller‘s Mike Riggs. (Riggs is the Daily Caller reporter who yesterday broke the story regarding the DEA’s plans to reschedule plant-derived THC while keeping the actual plant illegal.)

    Riggs asked the Czar some tough questions, including this one specific to medical cannabis: “You’ve said before that you don’t see medical benefits to smoked marijuana and also that the jury is still out on medical marijuana. What sort of scientific consensus does the ONDCP require? How many studies have to come out arguing for medical benefits? What do you need to see?”

    The Czar’s reply? “[Y]ou know there are over 100 groups doing marijuana research, and they’re getting their marijuana from the University of Mississippi. There are several things in clinical trials right now. So we’ll just have to wait for those.”

    To which I reply ‘Bulls–t!’

    As I write today on Alternet.org, a review of the U.S. National Institutes of Health website clinicaltrials.gov shows that there are presently only six FDA-approved trials taking place anywhere in the world involving subjects’ use of actual cannabis. Of these, two are completed, one is assessing the plant’s pharmacokinetics, and one is assessing pot’s alleged harms.

    Memo to the Drug Czar: That leaves a grand total of — not “over 100” — but rather just two ongoing clinical trials to assess the medical efficacy of cannabis. You sir, are a liar (but then again, I suppose we all knew that already).

    Pot May Be Instrumental in Combating Cancer, MS and Other Diseases But the Gov’t Refuses to Fund the Necessary Research

    via Alternet

    [excerpt] A review of the U.S. National Institutes of Health website clinicaltrials.gov shows that NIDA’s kibosh on medical marijuana trials continues unabated. Though a search of ongoing FDA-approved clinical trials using the keyword ‘cannabinoids’ (the active components in marijuana) yields 65 worldwide hits, only six involve subjects’ use of actual cannabis. (The others involve the use of synthetic cannabinoid agonists like dronabinol or nabilone, the commercially marketed marijuana extract Sativex, or the cannabinoid receptor blocking agent Rimonabant.)

    Of the six, two of the studies are already completed: ‘Opioid and Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetic Interactions‘ and ‘Vaporization as a Smokeless Cannabis Delivery System,’ both of which were spearheaded by researchers (primarily Dr. Donald Abrams) at the University of California at San Francisco.

    The four remaining studies are still in the ‘recruitment’ phase. Of these, only two pertain to the potential medical use of cannabis: ‘Cannabis for Spasticity of Multiple Sclerosis,’ which is taking place at the University of California at Davis and is likely the final clinical trial associated with the soon-to-be-defunct/defunded California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, and ‘Cannabis for Inflammatory Bowel Disease,’ led by researchers at the Meir Medical Center in Israel.

    Of the remaining studies, one focuses on the detection of cannabinoids and their metabolites on drug screens, while the other, entitled ‘Effects of Smoked Marijuana on Risk Taking and Decision Making Tasks,’ seeks to establish pot-related harms — hypothesizing that subjects “demonstrate poorer decision-making abilities and increased risk-taking behaviors” after smoking marijuana.

    You can read the full text of my Alternet.org story here.

    You can read the full interview with Drug Czar Kerlikowske here.

    84 responses to “What Do You Know? The Drug Czar Is Lying Again”

    1. Ray says:

      Well technically lying is his job… Unfortunately it is an unnecessary job that just wastes tax payers money

    2. Brett says:

      It is unbelievable that he is allowed to keep his job, and that people like him continue to be given power to decide our drug policies. What a disgrace.

    3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jonny goldstein, Graeme Thompson, Jeff Hathaway, Kevin Beaulieu, KushMonkey and others. KushMonkey said: What Do You Know? The Drug Czar Is Lying Again http://bit.ly/gamP7m #NORML #kushmonkey […]

    4. mike says:

      no suprise here.

    5. Anonymous says:

      First we must demand a public debate. Some would say we have, I disagree and here is why. The Federal and State Governments have run thier mouths for the last 40 years. In 1937 Anslinger lied to Congress and Congress ignored the AMA. Then in 1970s President Trick Dick throughout the Shafer Report and again went the other way. At not time have We the citizens ever gotten the chance to present our side of this injustice. Not even in the Courts, we have been repeatedly denied any sense of fair play that it is shocking. Now we have the moment to call the President out, to call the government out to an open public debate on the issue and you won’t sign? This IS the MOMENT! you all been waiting for. The chance to present our side of this issue without being bullied. Come on NOW and help me push this government and their evidence out into the light of day for all to see. ACT NOW!



    6. jesse says:

      well the goverment cant get rich if it cures everyone.so this will be ongoing until every old ass beuracrat dies and we can live in a world of today not yesterday

    7. Tommas says:

      She probably was including the groups that are doing GPCR cannabinoid research. Which norml is correct that it is bulls**t because that it is not “marijuana” research but specific pharm. biochemistry. It is like saying someone who is researching an opioid receptor is doing research on poppies!

      Are we really surpirsed that the government is playing word games.

    8. Anonymous says:

      The reason marijuana is ileagle is because you can grow it for free. In a fascist state, and the U.S, is probably the birthplace of fascism, what worse crime could their be than free. If the marijuana plant could be patened, we would have THC in our toothpaste. Re-election is no longer in my vocabulary.

    9. Joel: the other Joel says:

      He is doing a “heck” of a job.

      Maybe he is letting everybody know that he couldn’t help being such a moron in the most corrupted federal organization in history, the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
      He sure has gotten dumber.