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FDA Opposes Medical Marijuana

Advisory is issued at a time when more states are permitting its use for medicinal reasons

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Noting that voters in a growing number of states have backed measures legalizing marijuana smoking under physician supervision, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken a stand against the medical use of smoked marijuana.

In an interagency advisory, the FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy took a stand against smoking marijuana for medical reasons despite claims that it is safe and effective for various symptoms.

Marijuana is not an approved drug; it is instead in the most restrictive category of the Controlled Substances Act, according to the FDA statement. The DEA and FDA back this placement because marijuana is easily abused, and its medical effectiveness and safety are not accepted in the United States.

Instead, there is "sound evidence" that smoking marijuana is unhealthful, according to the agency.

Measures passed in a growing number of states legalizing marijuana smoking for medical conditions "are inconsistent with efforts to ensure that medications undergo the rigorous scientific scrutiny of the FDA approval process and are proven safe and effective," the authors write, adding that the FDA and other agencies "do not support the use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes."

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