By: Daniel Isenstein
The DEA fell back to the comfort of their favorite position when it comes to making a decision regarding the rescheduling of cannabis from a Schedule 1 substance with no medically approved uses. They said, not enough research has been done to justify rescheduling cannabis. They did however loosen restrictions on universities looking to grow cannabis for research purposes.
As I mentioned in my earlier blog this should have come as no surprise. Asking a law enforcement agency about eliminating laws that support their industry is like asking oil companies to start promoting the use of electric cars.
However, almost immediately on the internet a grassroots awareness campaign immediately took off under the title “6630507 Speak to the Hand”. This campaign seeks to call “bullshit” on the DEA by making light of an October 2003 Patent application by the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the medical applications of certain cannabinoids. This is supposedly one of many government patents for the medical applications of cannabis dating back to at least 1999.
Now I’m not a lawyer. But, it seems to me that if governmental agencies own patents for the therapeutic use of cannabis they have done the research, proven the applications and legally protected their intellectual property. So what’s the hold up?
I believe this whole process is stalled until the pharmaceutical industry and agribusiness figure out a way to commodify this research into government (read big business) approved products that generate a profits for existing industries. I don’t generally like “conspiracy theories”, but the amount of money at stake would be a huge motivation.
So, if the government has done this research and holds these patents what are our options? Like I said, I am no lawyer, so I will put this question out there. Is there any traction to be gained by submitting a class action suit against the DEA on behalf of anyone who could benefit from cannabis based on an established government patent?
This excerpt is from the patent application abstract:
“The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”
The only possible negative the DEA could derive from this section is in the last line that basically says that non psychoactive cannabinoids are preferred because the risk of the patient getting high, or more literally “intoxicated”. The word “toxicity” is used here almost as a scare tactic. The fact that there are non-intoxicating varieties of cannabis should be considered a plus in that all too often man made chemical compounds result in much more detrimental side effects.
So, any lawyers out there, do we have a case?
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Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Eugene Monroe won’t be on the next roster, and it may be for his advocacy for medical marijuana. Monroe’s January recovery from a shoulder injury inspired him to write about marijuana versus opioids, and donate $80,000 to medical marijuana researchers at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. His work, he tweeted, was all for his “brothers… the players that make up the team… our future health and wellness.”
Unfortunately, his offseason, offtopic efforts failed to impress the Ravens officials. In the days leading up to his release, attitudes from the organization led Monroe to wonder if his marijuana advocacy was to blame. Interestingly, his original questions were less about the drug, and more about overall NFL healthcare.
It is arguable that reviewing old drug testing policies is going to be a big trend in U.S. companies in the nearest future. If the weed is legal, and the job can be done safely under cannabis influence, why would an employer be concerned about marijuana consumption enough to spend money on drug testing?
Current situation is creating a whole lot of consequences, like people easily cheating on drug tests by adding water to their urine, or other people making money on ‘weed detox sets’ that claim to free your system of cannabis traces in just three days. More than 93% test negative, but employers continue testing. In most cases, we just avoid working for companies that drug test employees.