Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pot Shots: You don’t have to be a hardcore High Times reader to find something disturbing about a recent statement from the FDA denying the well documented medical benefits of marijuana.

I’ve written at great length about what happens when science is distorted in pursuit of a political or other ideological agenda—something of which the current administration has been more guilty than most. But pediatrician Sydney Spiesel explains it at Slate:

“From my standpoint as a doctor, the question is this: What do you do when federal agencies become so politicized that their recommendations can’t necessarily be trusted? Do you have to treat other things they say as suspect? I depend on good advice and honest information from government agencies in the daily conduct of my work. I need to know what epidemic illnesses are circulating in my neighborhood even if that information might put a government agency in a bad light. I need to be able to trust government-sponsored research…. I need to know that the advice I glean from government-sponsored agency Web sites will lead to the best care for my patients.

“Marijuana as a medicine—whatever its risk and benefits are eventually determined to be—may turn out to be much less important than the question of whether we can count on agencies like the FDA to be honest in their dealings.”

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