October #40 : Pot for Thought - by Scott Hess

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October 1998

Pot for Thought

by Scott Hess

Prescriptive found nonaddictive

Popping low doses of Marinol—a capsulized form of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—to perk up your appetite is not apt to trigger addiction, according to a recent study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Lead author Sarah Calhoun of Haight-Ashbury Free Clinics spent nine months weeding out signs of abuse or illegal trafficking of Marinol in a cross-country research romp. Her team grilled narcs, combed drug-bust records and checked the charts of Marinol users for any signs of dependency or recreational use. “We didn’t find anyone who used it abusively,” Calhoun said. The goal was to determine if Marinol could be shifted from the FDA’s Schedule II (grouped with morphine and cocaine) to a less restrictive schedule, which would make prescribing the drug easier for docs, by eliminating the required triplicate ’scrips and state-level involvement. Since the study, the DEA has endorsed a schedule shift. Now it’s up to the FDA. (FYI: The real Mary Jane is a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD.)  

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