Date: Sun, 10 Apr 1994 09:19:16 UTC
Subject: Medicinal Marijuana Has Many Drawbacks
Reprinted from New York Times, Friday April 8, 1994, pA26
To the Editor:
Like the majority of other addictions specialists, I take exception to Dr. Lester Grinspoon's 20 year crusade to advocate the legal and medicinal use of marijuana (letter, March 25). Smoking marijuana has no legitimate place in the treatment of nausea induced by chemotherapy.
It has a limited anti-nausea effect, better medications are available, and the depressive effect of marijuana on the compromised immune system in AIDS or cancer patients make it counterindicated. Why would anyone want to smoke marijuana, which contains more than 60 cannabinoids and 360 other toxic chemical compunds (including heavy amounts of cancer-producing substances such as benzanthracene, benzopyrene and vinyl chloride), and has negative long-term cardiovascular, respiratory and other effects?
Let's not mislead the public and cancer patients, who surely suffer enough.
Nicholas A Pace, M.D.
Vice Chairman, American Council for Drug Education
New York, March 31, 1994