The heading on page 5A in today's Freeps carried the message that big pharma wants us to read and accept:
Study: Medical marijuana ineffective
End of story; but not quite.
A more thorough reading of the article reveals that nothing has been accomplished by the University of Arizona "study," except to demonstrate that there is insufficient data available to prove conclusively that marijuana is an effective treatment for a laundry list of ailments, including anxiety, depression, migraine, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
As Dr. Sue Sisley, a medical doctor and assistant professor of psychiatry and internal medicine, also at the University of Arizona, observes, scientific evidence of efficacy is an
"...unattainable standard" because it is very difficult to perform peer-reviewed studies on drugs that the federal government says have no medical uses.
Witness the University's own policy with regard to cultivation of medical marijuana.
While the use of Medical Marijuana is legal in the state of Arizona, Cannabis spp. remains a Schedule 1 illegal drug under Federal law and as such, Arizona Cooperative Extension cannot be involved with this plant in any form or context-including advice on appropriate applications of pesticides such as insecticides, herbicides and fungicides to control pests or of growth regulators, fertilizers or other substances to improve the growth of Cannabis spp. plants, or advice on appropriate engineering controls or design, growing conditions or environments, and other information used to grow, propagate, manage or enhance production of Cannabis spp.
Assistance with medical marijuana plant health questions will not be provided by Extension faculty.
Individuals requesting such information will not be provided referral information
Dr. Sisley points out that Arizona's state health director, Will Humble who together with Arizona's Republican governor Jan Brewer, opposes medical marijuana, is relying on this obstacle to continue supporting his position.
"He knows we'll never be able to do that (prove its efficacy)," said Sisley.
But I suspect the overarching story, once again, is the power of big pharma's long arm of research funding.
It's a familiar pattern to anyone who has taken a look at other university "research" projects whose findings all too predictably reinforce the position of corporate funders.
We saw that with MIT's highly publicized and tainted study that supposedly "proved" no harmful effects from exposures to low-level radiation over long periods of exposure.
What was glaringly evident of MIT's bias, ie. the tremendous investment and embedding of nuclear industry interests in its research efforts, can no doubt also be observed in big pharma's relationship with the University of Arizona research facilities.
In short, the headline should read:
"Big pharma continues to get the results it pays for. Patient needs be damned."