It’s All About the Plant, Man

This will be another one’a those posts where it could easily have gone in the medicinal category. I’m beginning to think if it’s about a study, it goes into medicinal. The law… the bullshit law… that would go here.

I suppose you’ve heard about the DEA’s recent ruling on medicinal cannabis? “…no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, …has a  high potential for abuse…”. This was in response to a petition to have cannabis reclassified under the CSA (Controlled Substance Act). The petitioners actually think the ruling was a good thing. It opens the avenue for appeal in the courts. You know, where judgements are made based upon the presentation of facts? Hey! One step at a time, eh? These steps need be made available before they can be taken though, right? Right.

Hold tight a second, or two.

We’re going to jump over to the ONDCP’s (Office of National Drug Control Policy) latest.

Linkage here – ONDCP

Er, maybe wait a minute…

So we have an office that makes policy and then another that enforces that policy? Where’d the word “Congress” go? I thought… Never mind I get confused. It’s tough for me to differentiate between policy, law, enforcement and whom is responsible for what. I thought we had a place in here, somewheres. I dunno. Things can get muddled here in the United Corporations of America.

Before I get terribly sidetracked —

The ONDCP Strategy Report starts out with a cool graph showing the relationship between being a kid flunking out of high school and the same doing dope. The paragraph prior has a bunch of cool statistics about how a screwed up kid is x times more likely to be an habitual drug user. ‘Least, I think that’s what they’re trying to tell us.

Okay, screwed up kids get screwed up? Crap, we don’t have a chicken/egg thing here, do we? I’ll move on.

Man, this thing, the “strategy,”  is so convoluted I’m having a hard time deciding what part to speak to… HEY! How about the medicinal section?

“Marijuana and other drugs are addictive and unsafe, especially for use by young people. Unfortunately, efforts to “medicalize” marijuana have widened the public acceptance and availability of the drug.”

That’s the first paragraph. No, really. They aren’t aware of patent 6630507? You know that one, right?  “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.” The U.S. Department of Health owns that one.

See, all bullshit aside, everybody and their friggin’ brother knows that the cannabis plant has molecules within it that, when they’re introduced into the human body, keys locks that humanity has been literally praying for. Kill the tumor? Hit it with some THC and CBD. Reproduction stops. Dead cancer. No side effects. There are real clinical studies out there to substantiate my wild claim.

It’s known.

So what’s the deal? Why aren’t we taking this plant apart molecule by molecule and doing all kinds of neat stuff to aid folks with their various maladies. Why won’t the DEA simply withdraw cannabis from any scheduling? I mean, then universities, pharmaceutical outfits and other research facilities would be free to do some real science.

Why is this so damned hard?

Do we want to limit juvenile cannabis abuse? I would suggest we set an age limit for its purchase  and start asking for I.D.. Do we want to investigate why a couple of phytocannabionoids starve out cancer cells, and leave the healthy cells alone, how and why cannabinoids are a neuroprotectant, why… TAKE IT OUT OF SCHEDULING!

Sorry. I didn’t mean to blow up.

The DEA claims there is no “currently accepted medical use” for cannabis. This statement is based upon the FDA not giving cannabis its blessing. I got news for ya, folks; the FDA will never approve a plant. I would call that circular reasoning, but there is no reasoning.

 The strategy report claims 109 researchers have been approved to study cannabis, cannabis extracts and phytocannabinoids. It claims that 14 researchers have been licensed to study smoked cannabis. I certainly hope these folks (whomever they are) do better work than the cat that asphyxiated monkeys with cannabis smoke and then claimed smoked cannabis had a lethal dose.

Why didn’t the DEA approve Dr. Lyle E. Craker’s request to grow cannabis? Craker? He’s a professor of plant, soil and insect sciences at the University of Massachusetts. Maybe old Lyle is opposed to killing monkeys? What he isn’t opposed to is studying plants for their medicinal properties. It’s how he makes his living.

There are currently 16 states (and D.C.) with medicinal cannabis laws… Currently accepted medical use? It damn sure sounds like it to me!

Dronabinol (synthetic THC) is approved for treating nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. That’s rich, isn’t it? “Oh, you can’t quit puking? Here, take this pill.” How the hell is that supposed to work?

GW pharmaceuticals Sativex is currently undergoing FDA trials for the treatment of pain. Sativex is an extract containing the phytocannabinoids THC and CBD. I’ve a feeling approval is right around the corner.

Circles within circles.

Do you think the FDA would have approved willow bark for the treatment of pain? Aspirin was patented in February of 1900. By the way, the Bayer company also held the trademark ‘Heroin’ (another plant derivitive) until the treaty of Versailles in 1919.

It’s all about the plant, man. Now ask yourself, psychoactive cannabis or industrial hemp? What? I’m serious!

Circles…

Oh, and, anybody out there have a mass spectrometer or a gas chromatograph they are willing to turn me on to? I’ve my own research project in the works. Shhhh! Don’t tell, okay?

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