Cannabinoids are the active ingredients in marijuana, and
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the only psychoactive
cannabinoid. Excerpts from frequently cited journal articles
follow the brief statements below. Because these excerpts
are taken out of context, the reader is encouraged to read
the original journal articles.
1) The primary marker of a drug with a severe dependence
liability is compulsive self-administration produces in an
animal model. Animals will not self-administer marijuana.
2) Cannabinoids are non-toxic, lethal effects are non existent.
3) The pharmacology of cannabinoids was well-characterized
by the mid 1980's, and indicates that marijuana does not pose
greater risks than alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Documentation.
4) The discovery of the neural mechanism, the cannabinoid
receptor system, which accounts for the characteristic effects
of marijuana began in 1989. Documentation.
5) Tolerance to marijuana has also been explained by way
of a natural process and not cell toxification, and has been
shown not to be a characteristic of a dependence liability.
6) There is little evidence that marijuana harms the immune
7) The discovery of the neural cannabinoid receptor system
provides evidence of the physiological basis for the medical
use of marijuana and cannabinoids. Documentation.
8) Before 1989, because no one knew how marijuana's effects
were produced, scientists were allowed great breadth to speculate
about the substance. Documentation.
9) Much of the harmful speculation about marijuana prior
to the receptor discovery has based in studies with severe
methodological problems. Documentation.
10) Prior to 1989, many of these speculative hypotheses were
presented to the public as likely facts which supported various
public policies; but no one really knew what they were talking
11) Despite 1997 research findings indicating that marijuana
has a slight effect on the brain reward system the scientific
record still indicates that marijuana has a much lower potential
for abuse than heroin, cocaine, or amphetamines. Documentation.