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Poitical abuses in national research authority

Dr E. Buxbaum EB15 at le.ac.uk
Thu Oct 24 08:15:26 EST 1996

stephan at psych.ucla.edu (Stephan Anagnostaras) wrote:

>Second, synthetic THCs are as effective as potent opiates in
>pain control (e.g., dilaudid) but certainly have less abuse potential;
>indeed, I would argue that THC has less abuse potential than
>hydrocodone; even if you believe the literature that suggests that
>THC is associated with dependence (all of which does not come
>from independent laboratories), it certainly is not in the same
>category with highly addictive drugs such as meth-amph or heroin
> (even d-amph is classified as less addictive than THC by the US Govt!).
>Certainly if you have ever come across a stimulant psychotic you
>can admit that d-amph is far more dangerous than THC.  

The problem of "designer drugs" like amphetamines is a never ending 
story. You make one of them a controlled substance, and at least 10 
others apear on the market not covered by law because of marginaly 
different chemical structures. They are no doubt extremly dangerous.

> All this aside,
>terminal cancer patients should have access to any drugs which they
>feel improve their subjective experience.  Many of these patients are
>guaranteed death, and insufferable pain, which is almost always
>made worse by chemo/radiotherapy for the benefit of spending a few more
>months with their loved ones. These people deserve the relief from
>the extreme GI distress experienced as a result of chemo/radiotherapy
>(remember, conditioned taste aversion was first discovered in
>radiotherapy patients) that THC can provide.  It took the medical community
>years to acknowledge that addictive potential is not a reason to
>deny cancer patients potent opaites, and they should readily admit the
>same for THC -- even if they object to the free (e.g., like alcohol)
>use of hemp.

I think everybody now will agree that effective pain management in 
terminally ill patients is a good thing, and with modern drug dosage and 
scheduling this can be achieved even without inducing addiction  even 
though the drugs used have addictive potential. Correctly applied, they 
even leave the patient awake and responsive to his/her environment. In 
this respect, as far as I am aware, there appears no need for THC. 
Antiemetics may be a different matter, I have no expertise in this area. 

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