Tri States Public Radio Staff
Illinois House Bill 1
Thu April 25, 2013
Doctors: Just Say No to Medical Marijuana
A group of doctors and drug-policy officials called on Illinois lawmakers to not approve a bill (HB 1) that would allow the medical use of marijuana.
The comments were made as the American Society of Addiction Medicine holds its annual meeting in Chicago.
Doctor Andrea Barthwell, a past president of the group and a former deputy US drug czar, said there is nothing "medical" about marijuana. She cautioned against going around the usual Food and Drug Administration approval process.
“The early data from head-to-head trials of marijuana against FDA-approved medications just doesn't support the fact that marijuana is efficacious in as many ways as is anecdotally reported," Barthwell said.
Supporters of the legislation have said Illinois would have the strictest medical marijuana program in the country.
Barthwell said she doubts many patients would truly be better off with pot than with mainstream medicine.