Medical Marijuana? “There’s No Such Thing” Says Secretary of HHS

Medical cannabis advocates are taking aim at U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for comments he made about marijuana during a press conference on opioids Friday.

“There really is no such thing as medical marijuana,” Azar said in response to a question about the purported benefits of marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain relief.

He later clarified: “There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that.”

Azar is technically right. The federal government recognizes no medical use or benefits of marijuana, so there’s ‘no such thing’ in the eyes of the feds. But plenty of patients, physicians, and other experts do recognize marijuana’s medicinal uses, and a growing number believe marijuana holds promise as an alternative to opiate-based pain medications.