The FDA says there is no medical benefit to marijuana. Tell that to the assistant D.A. in this story, who used to prosecute drug busts but who now smokes pot to build up an appetite ravaged by AIDS.

L.A. Times:

As assistant district attorney in San Francisco, Keith Vines prosecuted one of the largest illicit drug busts the city had ever seen. Then he came down with AIDS wasting syndrome and lost 60 pounds over three years.

To stimulate his appetite, he started taking marinol, an FDA-approved drug containing THC, one of the active ingredients in marijuana. He says he couldn’t control the dose of the drug, which must be swallowed. “I would be out of it for four or five hours,” he says.

And so, instead of continuing with marinol, he started smoking medical marijuana, keeping his head clear by puffing only as much as he needed to get hungry. He gained back all his weight, he says.

Like many in his condition, Vines flatly disagrees with an April 20 announcement by the Food and Drug Administration and several other federal agencies that smoking marijuana confers no medical benefits.

So do physicians who write prescriptions for medical marijuana. (Doctors can’t prescribe the plant.) They say the government hasn’t done its homework ? and cite a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine, a prestigious organization that advises the government, that found otherwise.


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