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December 20, 1995

Marijuana as Medicine-Reply

Author Affiliations

Harvard Medical School Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1995;274(23):1838. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530230023023

In Reply.  —As Dr Lowenthal points out, the contrast between tobacco policies and marijuana policies is instructive in more ways than one. Dr Bennetts raises the issues of social acceptability, cost, and alternatives. His fear that medical availability would lead to more nonmedical use is unwarranted. Cocaine and morphine, for example, have always been available as prescription drugs, but no one believes that availability is a significant cause of illicit use. On the issue of cost, it is important to point out that marijuana is less expensive than many of the medicines it could replace. As for the question of alternatives, of course we have no objection to advocacy for other orphan drugs and nonchemical approaches.Dr Nahas and Manger are wrong in their assertion that all the pharmacological properties of marijuana are attributable to THC. One reason most patients prefer smoked marijuana to oral dronabinol1(p39) is the powerful

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