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Family Research Council Misses Mark on Medicinal Marijuana
by Jennifer L.G. Wallace, Editor
"The marijuana prohibition has made criminals out of normal every day citizens, which is immoral in and of itself. But to support laws that withholds necessary medicine from those suffering from fatal and debilitating illnesses goes beyond immoral to shameful and heinous."

Today when I was conducting research for another article, I came across the news that on January 12th of this year, the Family Research Council filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court case United States vs. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. OCBC is a non-profit cooperative that distributed medical marijuana under the protection of law, by way of California Proposition 215 also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The purpose of the case is to determine if medical necessity constitutes a valid, legal defense against the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which at this time is not. Meaning patients under a physicians care, receiving or cultivating medical marijuana through prescription, under the protection of California State Law, can still be charged with violating Federal law. Since this is medical marijuana that is being addressed, those charged are the sick and dying, as in the tragic case of Peter McWilliams and the victorious story of Steve Kubby. In light of the evidence that continues to mount in support of medicinal marijuana, I was curious as to how and why FRC was active in this case. While I was unable to uncover the brief on the net, I did find this press release -

FRC Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2023CONTACT: Heather Cirmo, (202) 393-2100


“Smoking pot is never sound medicine,” FRC’s Maginnis says

WASHINGTON, DC. - “The medical marijuana lobby is nothing more than a front for the drug legalization movement,” Family Research Council’s Vice President of National Security and Foreign Affairs Robert Maginnis said Friday. “Smoking pot is never sound medicine. Medicalization of marijuana would result in many negative consequences the federal drug laws are designed to prevent.”

On Thursday, FRC filed an amicus brief in U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in which some pot smokers claim a “medical necessity” exemption from federal drug laws. FRC filed one of only two friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the federal government’s position. �“Although certain active ingredients in marijuana have been found to have therapeutic effects, no reputable doctor would recommend smoking the drug to receive the benefits,” Maginnis said.

“The negative effects of smoking marijuana would outweigh the therapeutic components of the drug. Marijuana’s principal active ingredient (THC) is available in a prescribable pill called Marinol; it is also available as a suppository, and soon as an inhaler. Crude marijuana, however, is a mind-altering and dangerous substance that affects cognition, memory, pain perception and motor coordination. �

“Medicalization of marijuana is a pretense used by many advocates of legalization,” Maginnis said. “An April 1999 article in Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians states, ‘Most supporters of smoked marijuana are hostile to the use [of purified THC], insisting that only smoked marijuana leaves be used as ‘medicine’, revealing clearly that their motivation is not scientific medicine but the back door legalization of marijuana.’ �

“The Supreme Court should heed drug czar Barry McCaffrey’s words and see the smoke and mirrors of a ‘carefully camouflaged, well-funded, tightly knit core of people whose goal is to legalize drug use in the United States,’” Maginnis said.

I was more than a little surprised over the inaccuracy of the statements expressed by a representative of such a respected organization. Especially when the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, a highly respected organization of not only reputable but very distinguished doctors, also published a report in 1999, commissioned by the the Office of National Drug Control Policy with these findings in reference to marijuana's medicinal values -

"The accumulated data suggest a variety of indications, particularly for pain relief, antiemesis, and appetite stimulation. For patients, such as those with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might thus offer broad spectrum relief not found in any other single medication. The data are weaker for muscle spasticity, but moderately promising. The least promising categories are movement disorders, epilepsy, and glaucoma. Animal data are moderately supportive of a potential for cannabinoids in the treatment of movement disorders and might eventually yield stronger encouragement."

And in reference to the option of Marinol, the prescription form of marijuana, the Institute of Medicine had this to say -

"Patients who are currently suffering from debilitating conditions unrelieved by legally available drugs, and who might find relief with smoked marijuana, will find little comfort in a promise of a better drug ten years from now." Thus, the IOM recommended making smoked marijuana medically available, under limited circumstances, until new drugs become available."

Considering that the reputation of the IOM, it is highly unlikely that they are a part of a "carefully camouflaged, well funded, tightly knit core of people whose goal is to legalize drug use in the United States." Nor would I say are the following respected organizations that also support access to medicinal marijuana.

The Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians; American Bar Association; American Public Health Association; American Society of Addiction Medicine; AIDS Action Council; British Medical Association; California Academy of Family Physicians; California Legislative Council for Older Americans; California Medical Association; California Nurses Association; California Pharmacists Association; California Society of Addiction Medicine; California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; Colorado Nurses Association; Consumer Reports Magazine; Kaiser Permanente; Lymphoma Foundation of America; Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network; National Association of Attorneys General; National Association of People with AIDS; National Nurses Society on Addictions; New Mexico Nurses Association; New York State Nurses Association; New England Journal of Medicine; and Virginia Nurses Association.

The unreasonable and irresponsible stance taken by the FRC is even more confusing when you consider FRC's mission statement. While most of it is scripturally invalid, the final statement assumes a responsibility that is not being met in the position that they have taken.

Family Research Council Mission Statement

"Family Research Council's primary reason for existence is to reaffirm and promote nationally, and particularly in Washington, DC., the traditional family and the Judeo- Christian principles upon which it is built. To accomplish this task, we will:

a) Promote and defend traditional family values in print, broadcast and other media outlets.

b) Develop and advocate legislative and public policy initiatives to strengthen and fortify the family and promote traditional values.

c) Establish and maintain an accurate source of statistical and research information that reaffirms the importance of the family in our civilization.

d) Inform and educate citizens on how they can promote biblical principles in our culture".

The intolerance, judgment and suspicion conveyed in the press release towards 'pot smokers', who are also citizens, follows no biblical principal. The public would best be served by informing and educating them according to these biblical principals found in Romans 12 -

The Christian and those within God's family - New Scofield Study Bible,NIV

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

The Christian and those outside of God's family - New Scofield Study Bible,NIV

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.

20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

As Christians, we are not commanded to risk others lives to save our earthly lives, but to risk our lives to save the earthly and eternal lives of others. Our perspective is not to be earthly but eternal. While the Family Research Council may feel that more harm than good can come from repealing the current marijuana laws that criminalize even the sick and dying, I am convinced that the eternal harm that is being done is greater than any earthly good that they hope to accomplish and the eternal responsibility will be great.

Sources -

DRCnet Online -

MarijuanaNews -


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