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March 19, 1982

Legal Status of Marijuana-Reply

JAMA. 1982;247(11):1563. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360015009

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In Reply.—  We agree that a dispassionate examination of the health effects of marijuana is much needed. This examination must begin by making the important distinction between "marijuana" and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana now being assessed as a possible antiemetic agent and for use in treating glaucoma.At this time, it is THC in liquid oral dosage form that is being evaluated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and scores of physicians nationwide. It appears to be an effective antiemetic for cancer patients receiving certain powerful chemotherapy agents, with the exception of pediatric or geriatric patients who do not tolerate well the psychotropic effects. The THC is manufactured with careful quality control so that the quality and quantity of the drug may be relied on by physicians and patients. Although shortages have resulted from the government's underestimation of demand, the drug has, nonetheless, been widely