From the: Drug Free Schools Coalition of New York
TV star Montel Williams has been out lobbying for medical pot. When he came to the New York state capital in Albany the DRSC of New York issued the following press advisory the next day: (make sure you read the last line of text in red and the red footnotes)
Former TV show host Montel Williams was in Albany yesterday to lobby for the “medical” marijuana bill SB-4041B. He claims that marijuana helps him with his Multiple Sclerosis.
What does the National Multiple Sclerosis Society have to say about “medical” marijuana?
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, stated in April 2008 that it could not recommend that medical marijuana be made widely available for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) for symptom management. 1
They cannot recommend it because: studies to date do not demonstrate a clear benefit compared to existing symptomatic therapies and because issues of side effects, systemic effects, and long-term effects are not yet clear.
Long-term use of marijuana may be associated with significant serious side effects. In addition, other well-tested, FDA-approved drugs are available, such as baclofen and tizanidine, to reduce spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis. 2
A team of scientists reports that marijuana does not improve the often painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Their study found that a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, and a plant extract were no better at relieving severe spasticity or muscle contraction compared with an inactive placebo. Both THC and plant-extract treatment worsened the participants’ global impression. 3
What Williams may not have told the legislators is that according to a Washington Post article from 2005, Williams “smoked dope recreationally in high school and college.” 4
1. Recommendations Regarding the Use of Cannabis in Multiple Sclerosis, National Clinical Advisory Board of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, April 2, 2008.
2. The MS Information Sourcebook, produced by the National MS Society. October 2005
3. Neurology 2002;58:1404-14O7, “Safety, tolerability, and efficacy of orally administered cannabinoids in MS,” J. Killestein, MD, E. L.J. Hoogervorst, MD, M. Reif, PhD, N. F. Kalkers, MD, A. C. van Loenen, PhD, P. G.M. Staats, MA, R. W. Gorter, MD PhD, B. M.J. Uitdehaag, MD PhD and C. H. Polman, MD PhD