Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

FDA Oversight Needed for Medical Marijuana

If there is medical evidence to support the use of cannabis for treatment purposes then the appropriate method is to seek FDA approval.

In 2012, Colorado voters legalized marijuana for recreational use. This recreational use law followed on the heels of prior passage of a medical marijuana use bill that very loosely enforced the concept of “medical”. In doing so, Colorado took a federally recognized Schedule I illegal drug, as defined by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and launched into what Colorado officials are finding is uncharted territory.

Colorado’s own appointed Marijuana Czar, Andrew Freedmen, admitted, “I do worry about if we are irreparably harming Colorado. And it’s something that will take years to suss (grasp) out”.

Additionally, recently, Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper confessed, “We don’t know what the unintended consequences are,” of legalizing marijuana.

Certain states have approved medical cannabis and completely by-passed the FDA approval process or have not required any valid medical criteria. The result has been that marijuana has become readily available to those who do not have legitimate medical need. This, then, becomes a very serious problem with abuse of cannabis, particularly among young people. Therefore, FDA approval is the most appropriate method to insure authorized medical use.

Hopefully, such a requirement would be incorporated by those attempting to pass any legislation.