The DEA Says Cannabis Has No Medical Value. They Missed This Important Fact…
People of all walks of life are posting pictures of their hands with 6630507 written on it, and the question of why is of the utmost importance. If you are an ally of the medical cannabis movement, 6630507 is a number you need to commit to your permanent memory today. This number is the identification number of US Patent 6,630,507, which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) holds for the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids. The research which made up the foundation of this patent was paid for with our Federal tax dollars, which in my opinion makes all US citizens shared owners of the patent alongside HHS.
The abstract for the patient explains its scope saying, “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.” The truth is that cannabis has medical value, but at this very second does not have acceptable medical use. The reason for this paradox is buried deep in the history of our country, and our inability to see cannabis through an unbiased perspective. The FDA has incredibly high standards for what they consider to be acceptable research, and thus far there have been only a handful of studies (the DEA noted 11 in their rejection) done on the medical benefits of cannabis which they deem acceptable. If a study is not blessed as acceptable by the FDA, then it is invisible to the American medical community.
If mold can make antibiotics, and poppy plants can make pain pills, then why in the world can’t there be medical value in the cannabis plant? Is it not just another plant? Unfortunately, we as Americans are ingrained from birth to think that cannabis is an intoxicant and is wholly bad. If you are looking a soul-chillingly good read on the historical perspective of cannabis, then read what the first head of the DEA (then the FBN) said about cannabis when he campaigned to have the drug made illegal. It will make your blood run cold.
There are wisps of the truth wafting around, but the FDA has exceptionally high standards, and the DEA has paved an especially narrow road to research. Trying to research cannabis is like trying to research moon rocks; good luck getting your hands on some! Up to now, the DEA has only ever allowed one single location to produce cannabis to be used in legal research. In their recent announcement, the DEA chose to keep cannabis as a Schedule I substance, but also said they will now allow more locations to produce cannabis for research. The obvious hope is that this will result in the scientific community producing results which the FDA considers acceptable. Only then will the FDA be metaphorically painted into a corner, and have no option but to recommend to the DEA to reschedule or deschedule cannabis. Patient 6,603,507 is merely the tip of the truth iceberg. Big praise to Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran for starting this viral trend! It is important for those who know about this patient to continuously spread the word, so that otherwise unknowing people will have the opportunity to realize that our government is staffed by human beings. I always like to say making mistakes is like sneezing and sleeping, it’s just part of being human. Many believe that the DEA made a mistake by not rescheduling/descheduling cannabis, and I personally agree. If a jury can wrongly convict a person in a court of law, then can’t a government wrongly classify a substance? It is time we gave the cannabis plant a well-deserved retrial! Patent 6,630,507 is a one of the best scientifically-founded examples of how cannabis does in fact have medical value.
Please write 6630507 on your hand and post it to your social media accounts. The only change which will come to this world is the change we each work for individually!
Posted In: Science
Cannabis May Be The Anti-Drug; States With Medical Cannabis Programs Have Lower Prescription Drug Spending
Researchers recently released the findings of a study meant to understand how medical cannabis effects patients usage of prescription drugs. Researchers found by analyzing data that states which have medical cannabis programs have shown a drop in prescription drug spending. Specifically the study looked at Medicare part D spending between 2010 and 2013, which covers the cost of prescription medications only. Researchers found that nationally states together saved roughly $165 million dollars in 2013. The researchers were not able to directly link the drop in spending to the start of the medical cannabis program. W. David Bradford, a professor of public policy at the University of Georgia and one of the study’s authors, did note the obvious correlation saying “…it’s pretty good indirect evidence that people are using [medical cannabis] as medication.” Interestingly when the data is analyzed further, not all prescription drugs fell uniformly.
When researchers took a deeper look into which prescription drugs fell and which rose, there was a correlation to conditions for which cannabis is commonly recommended. Scientists noted that “…the number of drug prescriptions dropped for treating anxiety, depression, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders and spasticity.” However conditions for which cannabis is not typically recommended did not see decreases. This correlates to the idea that patients are replacing or lowering their typical pharmaceutical intake by supplementing medical cannabis. While this may be a potential victory for cash-strapped Americans, the victory is not yet ours completely. Currently medical cannabis patients must pay for their cannabis from dispensaries out of pocket, but that may change when insurance companies finally understand that overall prescription drug costs could be lower if they include medical cannabis. Cannabis itself is not susceptible to pharmaceutical patents and monopolies and will likely remain low cost. Lester Grinspoon, who has written two books about cannabis, reaffirmed this idea saying “there’s a limit to how high a price cannabis can be sold at as a medicine.”
NPR also focused in on the fact that some prescriptions fell while others stayed constant. They seem to be as ready as me to draw the causation between the drop and cannabis saying “…it appears likely legalization led to a drop in prescriptions. That point, they said, is strengthened because prescriptions didn’t drop for medicines such as blood-thinners, for which marijuana isn’t an alternative.” In the big picture, replacing one medicine with another only is cost-saving if the new medication is cheaper than the original. To that point, “Bradford maintains that if medical marijuana became a regular part of patient care nationally, the cost curve would bend because marijuana is cheaper than other drugs.”
Steve DeAngelo discusses the potential for cannabis to reduce pharmaceutical drug intake in seniors in his book The Cannabis Manifesto. In chapter three, titled cannabis has always been a medicine, he discusses how a recent study showed cannabis to be beneficial in helping senior reduce the number of prescriptions they take daily. Specifically of the Israeli senior studied, “…72 percent of participants were able to reduce their drug intake by an average of 1.7 medications a day.” Furthermore workers at the senior home observed “almost all patients reported an increase in sleeping hours and a decrease in nightmares and PTSD-related flashbacks.” Cannabis has the potential to join the current medical arsenal currently deployed by doctors to treat the sick and ailing. We all need to work hard together to get past the negative stigma and take a hard look at the scientific facts.
Do you think that the drop in prescription drug spending is directly caused by the creation of a medical cannabis program? Tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook!
Posted In: News