The dangers of prescription drugs are much in the news today, amid speculation that the singer Whitney Houston's untimely death was linked to them.
No one denies that overuse of prescription drugs can lead to problems. It should be noted, however, that prescription drugs are legal substances. Unless some other offense is involved, merely possessing or using prescription drugs should not lead to charges of drug crime.
A complication may be coming soon, though, in the form of a prescription drug that contains the same primary psychoactive substance found in marijuana. A British company called GW Pharma is hoping to sell a mouth spray containing cannabis in the United States next year that could be used to treat cancer pain.
The drug being developed is called Savitex. It has already been approved for use in several countries, including Canada, for a different purpose: the relief of muscle spasms caused by complications of multiple sclerosis.
GW Pharma hopes to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of next year to market Savitex as a cancer-relief medicine.
If this happens, it could add additional issues to the complicated question medical marijuana. Possessing pot for medical purposes is currently legal in California and 15 other states, as well as the District of Columbia.
Even in states with medical marijuana laws, there are still numerous challenges for those who seek to obtain the drug. One of those challenges is the threat of criminal prosecution, because marijuana is still classified as a controlled substance under federal law.
FDA approval of Savitex would thicken the plot when it comes to pot.
Source: "Pot-based prescription drugs looks for FDA OK," Associated Press, 1-22-12