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November 4, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;230(5):651-663. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050005003

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Otolaryngologists hear defense of medical use of cocaine  A young otolaryngologist is making a spirited defense of the medical use of cocaine, saying that the federal government should ignore recommendations to stop its manufacture."The monumental effects of cocaine in otolaryngology, allowing unimpeded intralaryngeal and intranasal surgery, are obvious to anyone practicing the specialty," Nicholas L. Schenck, MD, told the American Academy of Opthalmology and Otolaryngology meeting in Dallas.Why, then, did the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse last year recommend a ban on its use?Dr. Schenck suggests that it may not be a misunderstanding of cocaine's medical value, but rather, a misguided belief that eliminating its medical use may make it possible to eliminate all misuse of the drug in this country.Dr. Schenck recently completed a residency at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. He is serving in the Army Medical Corps at