President Obama’s printed quote last week, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol” http://news.yahoo.com/obama-marijuana-football-184222270.html has put the final edict in place for the legalization of marijuana nationally. The radio show has been an advocate for “education before legalization” and our President and country has fallen short on the radio show’s wishes. The radio show believes more mind altering substances distributed to our streets is not beneficial to a community and education is the key to diminishing all drug distribution.
The march to full marijuana legalization has some ironic twists. First, our Federal Government has been intransigent and myopic in recognizing marijuana has beneficial therapeutic benefits in some medical instances. At the same time, our compassionate instincts have allowed the marijuana mavens and profiteers to move the distribution of marijuana into our communities and high schools under the guise of compassion. The number of card carrying “medical marijuana patients” has made a mockery of the original intent of voters supporting marijuana for compassionate outcomes.
While the march for medical legalization was in its infancy, the review published by the Institute of Medicine in 1999 indicating the possible benefits of marijuana in medicine was ignored by our government agencies. http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=6376
As states around the country passed legislation for medical marijuana, the FDA put out an edict in 2006 that “no scientific studies” supported the medical use of marijuana when in fact evidence indicated otherwise. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/21/health/21marijuana.html?_r=0
Although legislation is in place to explore marijuana research (regardless of illegal status) the agency in charge of research, National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) – a department of the National Institute of Health (NIH) has failed miserably on bringing greater light to all the possibilities of helping those truly in need of this natural plant. As the stories of pain relief from marijuana for cancer patients, HIV and the terminally ill flowed into the national press and ignored by the FDA, NIH and NIDA our communities have been inundated with the opioids for “pain relief” that has killed thousands courtesy of the FDA.
As long as the morally defunct leaders of the FDA and NIDA remained silent about marijuana, the DEA has continued to follow Federal guidelines to work diligently against a losing battle on attempting to stop the unfettered distribution of marijuana by the money interests. As of this writing , I defend the DEA and local law enforcement because they have gotten zero direction from the FDA, NIH and NIDA. Law enforcement sees daily the aftermath and destruction of too many drugs.
If the FDA and NIH would have acted on marijuana 20 years ago, sensible marijuana policies could have been put in place and thousands of arrests could have been avoided. Possibly, thousands would have been saved from the addiction and death of the legal opioids.
I shared a story on the radio show Tuesday night as an example of the marijuana fiasco:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN has stepped forward and is becoming a leader in this country in attempting to bring rational discussions on marijuana.
I admire Dr. Gupta for his sincerity and efforts. I am expecting more from Dr. Gupta in the future. However, it appears even Dr. Gupta may have been misled prior to his article last August http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/
Dr. Gupta wrote of a young girl in Colorado who has been helped by a special formula extracted from the marijuana plant and her seizures have been diminished dramatically from the extract.
In my local paper on Sunday, the Colorado formula was written about and indicated the mother was visiting the Florida legislature touting the miracle cure. http://tbo.com/news/politics/marijuana-derivative-is-ill-boys-last-hope-mom-says-20140119/
Two Florida legislators are “humanely” proposing legislation based on this expense paid presentation from a mother who is representing a product for the marijuana interests. http://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/capitol-med-marijuana-dcf
It appears the marijuana mavens are successfully using a young girl and her mother to further their agenda for full legalization. However, a product called Epidiolex that is reported to be identical to the Colorado formulation is undergoing clinical studies for the exact epileptic conditions Dr. Gupta and the Tampa paper described.
Ironically, Epidiolex is FDA approved and remains a secret in the marijuana debate. Epidiolex should be the product focused on for treating epilepsy in children. Legislators around the country should be following the success of Epidiolex.
Epidiolex is called an “Orphan Drug” http://www.fda.gov/forindustry/developingproductsforrarediseasesconditions/howtoapplyfororphanproductdesignation/default.htm
In other words, laws and legislation are in place to further marijuana research and the creation of new products. We have a product available that the mother from Colorado did not share with our reporters and legislators.
Our President finalized the decision on marijuana for our country based on popular support and zero scientific information from the government agencies who are responsible for our safety concerning what we ingest.
The first question our President and reporters should be asking is how and why did we get into this convoluted situation with marijuana? We have government agencies that have completely fallen short on discussions concerning marijuana while the money interests have taken complete control of the conversation to the point our President is misinformed and using the carefully shaped political expedient message to garner votes.
Before more legislation on marijuana is put into place, Congress should be demanding why the FDA,NIH and NIDA has ignored the marijuana research. Why has there been a lack of funding marijuana studies that is available utilizing a cooperative NIDA and The Orphan Drug Act legislation.