Marijuana should face scrutiny of all drugs

Given the Food and Drug Administration's job to safeguard society, it needs to say something about the marketing of marijuana for "medical" and "recreational" use.

Inhalation of burning marijuana subjects the user to essentially intravenous doses of unknown quantities of mixtures of unknown purity; potent agents with diverse pharmacologic effects. I say intravenous because the material is drawn into the deepest passages of the lungs, the alveoli, highly vascularized small sacs which allow the easy rapid transfer of oxygen into the blood.

I have a B.S. in Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and spent a career in drug research and development. The current situation seems a throwback to the days of hawking magic elixirs in the Old West.

The abilty exists to identify, quantify and determine the efficacy and safety of all of these materials, the same process the FDA uses to test all proposed new drugs for purity, safety and efficacy the - NDA (New Drug Application) process. The medical community should demand the NDA process for marijuana.

People should be concerned that friends or relatives, probably unaware of the complexities of the matter, can in some states buy weed, light up and get behind the wheel of a car, truck, bus or piece of construction machinery and drive off. Circumventing the NDA process will have dire consequences.

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