The U.S. Government Moves Closer To Admitting Cannabis Has Medical Uses
Old Hippie | Mar 29, 2011 | Comments 5
Cracks are beginning to show in the Great Wall of Silence that the U.S. Government has set up around the medical uses of cannabis.
Marijuana has been listed as a Schedule I drug since 1970 (which is when they invented the whole Schedule thing anyway). By putting it on that list, the Feds have effectively ensured an official silence (and an unofficial status of “Bad! Do not touch!” to would-be researchers), because Schedule I drugs by definition have “no medical value”.
If you’re new to the world of medical marijuana, you can close your open mouth now: you know it has medical value, we know it has medical value, and millions of patients in 15 states and a handful of other countries do too. But as far as the U.S. Government is officially concerned, it’s just some pot that those crazy kids smoke, and they should all go to jail for awhile and cool off.
First, there was the startling move last November when the DEA began the process of moving naturally-derived Marinol capsules from Schedule I to Schedule III. That wasn’t quite the same thing as President Obama smoking a joint on the White House lawn, but for the huge, lumbering behemoth that is the DEA, it was psychologically close. Even though Marinol itself is nothing but synthetic THC (and therefore missing all the other cannabinoids and trace chemicals that allow cannabis to do so many things for so many people), this was a huge step forward, because “naturally-derived” is DEA-speak for “comes from actual marijuana plants”.
Predictably, though, the DEA reiterated that marijuana itself was staying on Schedule I for the foreseeable future (i.e. “until hell freezes over”). Observers in the cannabis community are split over whether the DEA move is good in the long run or simply a way for Big Pharma (those lovable folks behind the 100,000 deaths a year from side effects of FDA-approved medicines) to make lots of money while the government continues to harass and arrest patients, dispensary owners, and recreational users.
They’re Scientists, Man
Then just a week or two ago, the National Cancer Institute (NCI, which can be found at Cancer.gov…it doesn’t get much more official than that) quietly added an entire section on cannabis to their extremely informative website.
They’ve actually had some information there for several years concerning marijuana use by cancer patients, but the new section is intended specifically for medical professionals. As such, it correctly references the term cannabis (rather than marijuana) and has quite serious and useful information for researchers, detailing laboratory studies as well as human clinical trials. Someone even slipped in a page of history related to marijuana politics that could well have been written by the late Jack Herer!
This is all serious stuff, and it indicates that Things Are Happening. We’ve been suffering under prohibition for almost 75 years, but the truth about the efficacy and safety of cannabis is finally coming out.
But Wait, There’s More
Oh, one more thing…and I suspect it was a very subtle nod to “us folks”.
This NCI stuff all went live on the web on March 17…St. Patrick’s Day. You know, the day everyone wears green?
I guess April 20 might have been a bit too blatant.
Old Hippie is a MMJ patient living somewhere in the wilds of California whose only link with the real world is a 420 MHz radio. He blogs on BeyondChronic.com and vapes on Sour Diesel.