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Letters
December 20, 1995

Marijuana as Medicine

Author Affiliations

New York University Medical Center New York, NY

JAMA. 1995;274(23):1837-1838. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530230023022
Abstract

To the Editor.  —The claims made by Dr Grinspoon and Mr Bakalar1 have been rebutted by the facts of the scientific and medical record summarized in the Drug Enforcement Administration ruling of 1989,2 which denied the rescheduling of marijuana from schedule I to schedule II.All of the pharmacological properties of crude marijuana have been attributed to its active ingredient Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). Besides Δ9-THC, marijuana smoke contains 60 other cannabinoids and 360 chemicals, some quite toxic, like carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, vinyl chloride, phenol, creosol, naphthalene, and twice as many carcinogens as a tobacco cigarette of the same weight. The American Cancer Society stated in 1989 that results of clinical investigations did not warrant decontrol of marijuana smoking for medical use (especially as an antiemetic), as did the American Medical Association.3Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol was declassified from schedule I to schedule II

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