The most recent governmental bureaucratic actions against medical cannabis was a joint effort of the DEA and FDA, both of which work together to ensure the pharmaceutical industry can dominate medical applications of cannabis. Early this year, 2017, cannabidiol (CBD) was placed firmly as a Schedule 1 Drug on its controlled substance list, even though CBD is an extract from cannabis that does not have psychotropic effects (no "high" from usage.) Because CBD does not produce any psychotropic effects, and yet is effective for several medical issues, most notably epileptic seizures, it has been allowed for children with epilepsy even in some states that do not permit full plant cannabis with THC medically. Yet now the DEA says it’s as medically useless and dangerous as heroin.
In the United States today, the federal government controls which substances can be used to treat diseases, and which ones cannot. In general, only pharmaceutical drugs which can be patented are allowed. In many cases, either the FDA decides certain health claims about natural substances are invalid and bans it, or the DEA claims certain plants, such as cannabis, are illegal, jeopardizing both use and research. The FDA’s best and most high paying customers are in the pharmaceutical business, which pays the FDA over $2 million per licensing fee to accept its own testing proving efficacy and safety. The FDA only reviews the pharmaceutical industry’s testing. But several independent researchers have determined most pharmaceutical tests are at best not quite right and sometimes totally fraudulent. In other words, the FDA protects the pharmaceutical industry, not its customers.
An Idaho mother has lost custody of her two children due to her state's strict laws regarding marijuana, where it is not legal even for medical purposes for physicians to prescribe. Kelsey Osborne, 23, has lost custody of her two young children, son Ryker and daughter Madyson aged two and three respectively, to state Child Protective Services (CPS). Both children were removed even though only Madyson was allegedly treated with cannabis during a horrific seizure episode. Her seizures were allegedly the result of withdrawal side effects from getting off of Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug. Kelsey now faces the charge of “causing injury to a child.”
Opioid painkiller addiction is the fastest growing drug addiction in the United States today, and it was recently featured on the popular Dr. Oz TV show. Dr. Oz pointed out the astonishing statistics that 48 million Americans, one out of every 5, have reported that they have abused prescription drugs. 12 states have more opioid pain pill prescriptions than people. In states where marijuana is legal, however, opioid prescriptions are declining. Dr. Oz looks at the question: Is marijuana the new gateway drug OUT of opioid addiction?
With the addition of Pennsylvania and Ohio in 2016, the total number of states in America allowing the use of cannabis medically is now 25. The non-state known as the District of Columbia or Washington, D.C., the nation's capitol, also has allowances for medical cannabis. They all have variations of what ailments or diseases are allowed for obtaining a medical marijuana permit. The states that are the most liberal include Colorado, Washington (state), and Oregon. They allow recreational use of marijuana, thus eliminating the need for approval from a bureaucratic medical marijuana approval system. Some states have more restrictions than others. For example, in New Mexico, hepatitis C is a condition allowed for cannabis, but only if one is using an FDA approved medically prescribed anti-viral. In other words, only as an adjunct for interferon type drugs that have a history of nasty side effects. This helps keep those who would rather avoid the medical system in it. Nearby Arizona allows cannabis for hepatitis C without the concurrent anti-viral treatment requirement. But so far, only one state allows medical cannabis for those diagnosed with aggressive or destructive autism, Delaware. Currently, a panel within the Minnesota Department of Health has met to discuss the possibility of including autism as a qualified condition for cannabis use. If you are a Minnesota resident and wish to register your supporting opinion or parental giver story with that panel, they are open to comments until September 20th.
Medical marijuana has two primary cannabinoids that are medicinally proven and understood to some extent, THC and CBD. They can both regulate each other and cooperate harmoniously. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive cannabinoid. CBD or cannabidiol was the un-heralded major cannabinoid that has only recently gained notoriety after going on its own instead of merely medicinally complementing THC. Most of this notoriety occurred through national TV exposure from Dr. Gupta Sanjay's CNN documentary “Weed." That documentary featured a young girl's struggle with a life threatening type of chronic epilepsy called Dravet's syndrome. Her name was Charlotte Figi and she was experiencing hundreds of seizures weekly. Out of desperation that led to discovery, the Figi family discovered CBD oil, which led to a miraculous turn-around with Charlotte's horrific symptoms. They found that they could administer CBD oil, made from marijuana, without making their child "high." This discovery spread quickly through Sanjay's CNN nationwide presentation going viral, exposing how many desperate families whose children can benefit from CBD exist throughout the nation and elsewhere.
The heroin and opioid painkiller overuse, addiction, and resulting death toll that averages out to 78 deaths per day has become an epidemic that continues to grow, except in states that have liberal medical marijuana laws. The CDC concedes that at least half of those statistics are fueled by opioid painkiller prescriptions of Oxycodone, as used in OxyContin®, Hydrocodone, with Vicodin® for example, and Methadone, ironically often prescribed under several brand names to assist those withdrawing from heroine. Those addicted to opioids are now taking advantage of medical marijuana legalization and using cannabis for pain instead of opioids.
Obama Adminstration’s DEA Ignores Marijuana Therapeutic Research – Keeps Status Illegal to Protect Big Pharma
The recent 2016 DEA decision to keep cannabis as a controlled substance Schedule I drug came amidst high hopes that it would be placed as Schedule II or below. Schedule I means the substance is dangerous, addictive, and has no medical merit. Marijuana or cannabis is therefore still ranked with heroin, and LSD. Heroin is an addictive and dangerous opiate that in other opioid forms such as morphine is used to suppress pain with legal prescriptions. Yet on the federal level, doctors cannot prescribe marijuana, in spite of so much evidence of its therapeutic value. At the same time, however, in what appears as an obvious hypocritical move that benefits only Big Pharma, the DEA, while not removing the criminal legal status on marijuana, did relax the laws regarding medical research on marijuana which will soon benefit drug companies looking to patent drugs that mimic what the plant already does.
A lot of attention and concern has been placed on kids using medical cannabis with parental or medical guidance. Many of the "concerns" are misplaced and out of date, based on the “Reefer Madness” propaganda of the 1970s, which induced an unjustified phobia of cannabis or marijuana. Some of the children who are afflicted with the most severe form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, are alive and doing well because of specially formulated cannabis that's low in activated THC. Others are surviving cancer and curing terminal Crohn's disease because of higher THC cannabis. Most of them manage well on cannabis almost completely, getting off most or all of the pharmaceutical medications that were worsening their condition. But what about older folks, people well into their 60s and older, 70s and 80s? Only a small minority who take responsibility for their health with good diets, the right supplements, and moderate exercise wind up managing well in those age groups. Most of them weren't aware of the Internet's “alternative” health information and warnings about mainstream medicine when they were younger. So most senior citizens wind up loaded on pharmaceuticals just to get by with daily routines, including decent sleep. But there is an increasing number of senior citizens catching on to the merits of one plant's ability to replace those medications for “age related” ailments. Some have even managed to walk out of hospice with "terminal" cancer after medical cannabis intervened.
Medical Refugees and Medical Tourism: New Options for Alternative Health Patients Rejected by Mainstream Medicine
According to quotes attributed to early Americans Dr. Benjamin Rush and Thomas Jefferson, medical freedom should have been inserted into the Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights. The fact that medical freedom has not been included in the Constitution's Bill of Rights has resulted in the establishment of “Pharmaceutical Medicine” as the only “officially” acceptable medicine and fostered the suppression of all other forms of valid healing. All unacceptable forms of medicine not considered “official” have been excluded from medical insurance coverage. The monopolist exclusion of insurance coverage for safer, less expensive, and more effective treatments creates a vast patient pool no matter the expense. For example a cancer patient may opt for chemo and radiation because his or her insurance covers that, but not natural treatments, which though less expensive, are beyond most people's budgets. This attempt by the U.S. Government, usually under the authority of the FDA, to suppress non-approved pharmaceutical alternatives that are often natural, non-toxic, less expensive, and more effective, has led to a new cultural phenomenon: Medical Tourism and Medical Refugees.