Although it was disappointing to see our DEA continue their 1940’s mentality, this decision has in no way slowed down overall cannabis reform. With over half the US states allowing medical cannabis and nearly 70% of Americans favoring medical access to cannabis if recommended by a doctor – the court of public opinion is moving us toward national reform. Throughout the world, nations and their citizens are re-thinking the way we talk about cannabis and leading cannabis reform.
Choosing to ignore science and maintain these antiquated views, certainly the DEA, in concert with our FDA, does not want Americans to have federally legal access to cannabis. The cannabinoid extracts, phyto-cannabinoids, can supplement the largest self regulatory system within the human body, the endogenous cannabinoid system, thus providing health and wellness benefits. The US Government patented research via US patent # 6,630,507 describes Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants; this was applied for in 1999 and awarded in 2003.
Synthetic THC that has been developed into a pharmaceutical, including Marinol and Dronabinol, is scheduled as less than Schedule I – yet the botanical version remains a Schedule I federally controlled substance. When one looks at the harm of many synthetic cannabinoids and the number of deaths attributed, and then sees that no one has ever died of an overdose of natural botanical cannabis, one wonders how a natural plant can be a Schedule I federally controlled substance.
Recent research from San Diego’s Salk Institute and Dr. David Schubert show that cannabinoids assist the brain by decreasing inflammation (the root cause of all disease) as well as by reducing beta-amyloid accumulation. This beta-amyloid accumulation is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Schubert’s research is especially significant because Big Pharma is zero-for-192 tries to develop a medication that will even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s – yet cannabis may provide these sought after health benefits.
So telling us that cannabis is illegal is analogous to telling horses and cows that they cannot eat pasture grass. By keeping us from consuming the very food and nutrients of our human “biological adaptation” is a sure recipe for disease and sickness. Those of us in the industry believe that many of in our world are “cannabinoid deficient” – and that the ones who are “cannabinoid sufficient” will prosper via longevity and excellent health. This concept of providing proper “nutrition to combat disease” is unheard of in the halls of our three-letter regulatory agencies – but well spoken in health-conscious alternative / integrative medical and therapeutic circles.
Stymieing the potential for legitimacy of the developing cannabis industry, the underground economy for cannabis and cannabis-based products thrives. Huge numbers of jobs are being created – in Colorado there is economic boom and growth, despite that much of this industry is fully cash-based and non-bankable. Soon this “underground economy” will supplant the “legitimate economy” and we will be reporting “above ground” GDP figures as well as “below ground” GDP, then “above ground” and “below ground” employment figures, etc.
In the meantime, Wall Street investors continue to pour money into deals – recently Canopy Growth Corp. in Canada received another multi-million-dollar investment. New York Stock Exchange listed Scotts Miracle Grow’s (NYSE: SMG) CEO has decided to pour $500 million into various cannabis-related investments, recently purchasing an Arizona-based nutrients and hydroponics company for over $40 million. A New York based private equity concern, Tuatara Capital, raised $93 million for two growth funds in the cannabis space.
Although the DEA has tried to keep the growth of the industry muted – their credibility and hypocrisy is reaching all time highs. The American public and the world will not stand for this much longer.
To good health –
Stuart W Titus, PhD
President & CEO
Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTC: MJNA)