By Justin Gardner
With eight states legalizing recreational cannabis and 26 other states legalizing medical cannabis use, federal government is the biggest obstacle to freedom – despite more and more U.S. lawmakers pushing for medical access and even complete decriminalization.
By far the biggest obstruction to a fact-based approach to cannabis is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which maintains cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic. This most restrictive category, which includes heroin and methamphetamine, is described as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
By now most everyone knows this classification is patently absurd for cannabis, as studies are piling up showing the medical benefits of cannabis, in addition to real-world evidence in medical use states. If that weren’t enough, the National Academies of Science just published a monumental study with nearly 100 conclusions, including the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
The DEA had a chance to correct its ignorance in 2016 by rescheduling cannabis on the advice of the FDA, but somehow kept a straight face when it announced in August it would keep the plant under Schedule 1. One explanation for this defiance of reality is the DEA’s allegiance to Big Pharma, which has admitted cannabis poses a threat to its profits.
Some aren’t taking the DEA’s disinformation lying down.
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) found 25 falsehoods about cannabis still being peddled by the DEA on its website, and has filed a petition to force their removal. ASA points out that DEA is violating federal law called the Information Quality Act which requires agencies to ensure the “quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information” when developing guidelines.
One reason we know their information is false is because the DEA contradicted those very falsehoods – with references to studies – when it refused to reschedule cannabis in 2016. Even though DEA accepted these studies, it somehow concluded ‘more research is needed’ to show cannabis has medical value.
According to the petition:
“DEA continues to disseminate certain statements about the health risks of medical cannabis use that have been incontrovertibly refuted by the DEA itself in its recent “Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana”, issued August 12, 2016. In fact, the DEA’s recent statements confirm scientific facts about medical cannabis that have long been accepted by a majority of the scientific community.”
ASA groups the false claims into four categories: 1) “cannabis’ alleged capacity to induce psychosis, 2) “cannabis’ alleged capacity to induce lung cancer and cause damage comparable to that caused by tobacco use, 3) the “gateway theory” to use of other drugs, 4) “alleged permanency of cannabis-associated cognitive deficits.”
For each category, ASA lists the specific statements and then provides contradicting statements from the DEA [...]
New research has shown us further concrete evidence that cannabis can treat severe motor and vocal tics in those suffering from Tourette syndrome.
The latest research out of the Department of Psychiatry at Tauranga Hospital in New Zealand used Sativex, a whole plant extract of cannabis made by GW Pharmaceuticals, to see how well cannabis worked to control motor and vocal tics in one patient with Tourette syndrome.
Doctors gave the patient two controlled doses a day of Sativex (an oromucosal spray that delivers 10.8 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD) for four weeks. The patient took a test to measure his perceived severity of the tics. They also videotaped the patient and had objective observers, that were unaware of whether the patient was under treatment of Sativex or not, measure the severity of the tics.
Both the patient and the objective observers noted a “marked improvement in the frequency and severity of motor and vocal tics post-treatment.” This study represents one of the first clinical trials, albeit very small, that has analyzed the effects of cannabis on Tourette syndrome.
Researchers have not yet discovered a cure for Tourette syndrome. The condition seems to run in families, and boys are much more commonly affected than girls. Smoking and drug consumption during pregnancy have been known to worsen the effects of Tourette syndrome. The condition typically gets better over time, and children with Tourette syndrome are more severely affected.
Scientists do not have a lead on the cause for Touretter syndrome either. Stress can exacerbate or even bring out the syndrome, but it cannot be attributed as a cause. However, the fact some patients notice an improvement in their symptoms after consuming cannabis could represent an important lead for scientists to investigate a cause. Cannabinoids “modulate neuronal excitability” and act as retrograde signal inhibitors. Research with cannabis on the brains of those with the condition may one day lead to an outright cure for Tourette syndrome, not just a drug that improves its symptoms.
Other anecdotal evidence exists to demonstrate that cannabis helps those suffering from Tourette syndrome. While Sativex is an expensive drug that consists of a controlled extract of cannabis from specially designed strains of cannabis, the active ingredients are very simple: roughly equal quantities of THC and CBD. Those suffering from this condition may see this new research as hope that a cure, or at least an alternative treatment, exists—even before clinical evidence gives patients the green light they may seek to treat themselves with cannabis, just as in the case with parents of children with Dravet syndrome who have sought out CBD as a treatment.
Credits: Buds from Capital City Cannabis Company; photo by CannaBusinessWA’s Jeff Standley [...]
By Justin Gardner
Congress is patting itself on the back after passing the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) and sending it to Obama’s desk. The “overwhelmingly bipartisan” bill is meant to address the opioid epidemic currently gripping the U.S.
It was an easy one for congressmen to brag about to their constituency, but the legislation is notable for its failure perhaps more so than its achievement. Namely, the failure to recognize medical cannabis as part of a viable alternative for treating chronic pain, and failure to call out the role of Big Pharma in getting the nation hooked on opioids.
CARA can be applauded for seeking to direct addicts into recovery programs instead of jails, give addiction treatment to those already locked up in the drug war, and expand access of naloxone to first responders for opioid overdoses.
The problem of American opioid addiction is underscored by the fact that the U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population but consumes 80 percent of the world’s opioids. In Tennessee, painkiller overdoses kill more people than car accidents or guns.
Nationwide, according to the CDC:
Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, and so have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.
Opioid addiction takes its biggest toll on poorer communities, with the help of sham “pain clinics” that are nothing more than pill pushers with doctorate degrees. They distribute this legal, highly addictive and deadly drug for pharmaceutical companies who make billions from wide-scale addiction.
In fact, U.S. doctors prescribe opioids at twice the rate of any other country, or 82.5 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons in the country.
When addicts can’t afford their expensive pills anymore, they turn to the illegal form of opioids like heroin, where they are subject to the further risks of the black market created by a senseless war on drugs.
Granted, people are the problem, too. Many would rather just take a pill for their pain instead of engaging in alternative programs that require more effort. Doctors gladly fill their requests, perhaps just coming from a lunch paid for by a pharma rep.
Of course, let’s not forget Big Pharma’s partner in crime—the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For decades, this relationship has been cultivated, building one of the biggest revolving doors in Washington, rivaling the military-industrial complex.
The FDA is instrumental in sustaining the pill-popping habits of Americans, glad to approve the manufactured products of their buddies in the industry while helping to subdue the potential of natural remedies.
The bias in the FDA is actually pretty obvious.
The day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new effort to limit the prescription of painkillers by doctors, the agency ignore [...]
Featured guests: NoCo Hemp Expo founder Morris Beegle and Cannabist national policy and business reporter Alicia Wallace. LOTS TO TALK ABOUT • The definitive guide on which states will be voting on medical or recreational marijuana legalization in November. • Pot shop design trends: The industry is spending millions on… [...]
BY PAUL FASSA
Andrew Katelaris dr cannabisHis actual name is Andrew Katelaris, and he was trained as an MD in Austrialia. But he was “deregistered” from mainstream medical practice because of his incessant inquiry into the medical properties of cannabis. Now he provides quality CBD to families with brain damaged children who are overwhelmed by seizures.
And he has been doing this for over 20 years despite medical cannabis is not being allowed at all in Australia. Andrew asserts, “This is a pharmaco-fascist state we live in… It’s child abuse what’s going on, I mean, what civilized country refuses to treat children with one of the safest medicines known to man?” And, “When the law is unjust, resistance is mandatory”.
Andrew also explains, “I’ve had to charge into the unknown with drug interactions, but we’ve had no adverse reactions yet, and not one family that has gone on cannabis with us has asked to come off it, although it doesn’t work for everyone. It’s a fascinatingly complex plant, we’re only just beginning to scratch around the surface in terms of its medical possibilities.” [emphasis added]
We are fortunate several individual states, around half at last count, have ignored our national government’s schedule I classification of marijuana, which labels it as having no medical merit, dangerous, and addictive. Meanwhile other more dangerous pharmaceutical drugs are scheduled with less restrictions that the legal pharmaceutical drug pushers can administer or prescribe.
But will Congress decide to move cannabis into a less restrictive category after meetings in June of 2016? Rumor has it as of this writing that they met and it hasn’t happened. This mid-east nation, often justifiably criticized for it’s extremely militant apartheid, has led the way with medical cannabis applications.
Two USA states, Washington and Colorado, have opened the doors wide open to allow cannabis for any reason. That’s the way it should be everywhere. Even used “recreationally”, it has medical merits. As a treatment for any type of mental or emotional disorder, it’s safer and more effective than anything Big Pharma pushes.
That’s part of the problem, part of the reason Big Pharma’s vaccination campaign is being enforced by laws. Eventually, that’s all they’ll have left as cannabis replaces so called modern medicine with its wide variety of applications.
The tipping point of medical cannabis legalization has been reached. The last round of medical fascism resistance will be with vaccines.
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are well received by truth seekers. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter [...]
Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth (TSXV: CGC) (OTC:TWMJF), the parent company of Tweed and Bedrocan Cannabis, gave a TEDx talk in Kanata, Ontario on March 31st. The theme of the event was “breaking barriers”, but Linton actually praised them, ... [...]
Subscribe! Join our mailing list to receive weekly summaries of the latest cannabis news. SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! Our Sponsor. Latest Articles. Cannabis Science and Policy Summit emphasizes harm reduction over commerce. [...]
... condition that require s frequent trips to the washroom. When I administer orally the frequency is drastically reduces. Subscribe! Join our mailing list to receive weekly summaries of the latest cannabis news. SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully ... [...]
Pineapple Express (OTC: PNPL) was suspended by the SEC this morning. The company, which is a member of the 420 Investor Cannabis Stock Index (as of 3/31/16), is a recent reverse merger involving the former principals of Medbox, now known as Notis ... [...]
Chris Male of Anslinger Capital shared something today with our almost 4000 member LinkedIn group, Cannabis Investors & Entrepreneurs, that was just too good to be true. I dismissed it incorrectly as fake news, but indeed it is true: Walgreens (NASDAQ: ... [...]
While in the Americas in the last few years we have seen several waves of liberal reforms in countries like the USA, Canada, Chile, and Uruguay, we rarely hear similar news concerning European countries. But cannabis legalization is also winning ... [...]