Attorney General Eric Holder says the US Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana clubs. His declaration is a fulfillment of a campaign promise by Barack Obama, and marks a major shift from the previous administration.

In fact, there’s scant support for medical marijuana based on medical science.  Here’s what’s been published in just the past 6 months.


  • Increases in apoC-III in marijuana users hint that chronic marijuana abuse could impair of cellular energetics and mitochondrial function, which are critical events associated with heart attack, stroke, and ischemic/reperfusion damage.

Heart arrhythmias

  • In a young person with an abnormal rhythm that involves the upper chambers of the heart, think marijuana use in the absence of other predisposing factors.

Heart attack patients

  • Prior marijuana use, compared to no use, is associated with a significantly greater risk of death due to heart-related or non-heart related causes.
  • The risk of death increases with increasing use of marijuana.

Bipolar disorder

  • Cannabis users experience less satisfaction with life and have a lower probability of having a relationship compared with nonusers.

Psychotic disorder

  • Early onset of psychosis is associated with a history of lifetime cannabis abuse or dependence.

Multiple sclerosis

  • Smoking marijuana can have a harmful effect on the cognitive skills of people with multiple sclerosis.
  • There are no scientific studies demonstrating that marijuana is an effective treatment for emotional difficulties.

Driving accidents

  • People who drive after smoking pot are more likely to be involved in a collision.

Offspring of marijuana-smoking moms

  • Heavy marijuana use (one or more joints per day) during the first trimester is associated with lower verbal reasoning.
  • Heavy use during the second trimester predicts deficits in the composite, short-term memory, and quantitative scores (eg, counting coins).
  • Third-trimester heavy use also has negative effects on the offspring.
  • There’s a significant relationship between greater marijuana exposure by the pregnant mom and lower child intelligence.

The bottom line?
I’m waiting for somebody to show me the a well-designed unbiased study that supports any advantage for smoking marijuana in any medical condition compared to existing therapy.

I’m also waiting for politicians who can rise above all the smoke and stand-up for what is in the best interest of the citizens of this country rather than plumbing the lowest depths for votes at any cost.

2/26/09 14:08 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.