Did you know that the federal government has a patent for Medicinal Cannabis?
Unbeknownst to a lot of Idahoans, the federal government actually has a patent on Medical Cannabis. Patent no. 6630507 began to gain notoriety this past August when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) went back on its word to reschedule Cannabis as a Schedule II drug. The DEA claims that they decided not to reschedule Cannabis on the basis that there was no medicinal value to the plant.
If this is the case, then why does the federal government have a medical patent dating all the way back to 1999?
Idaho politicians are parroting the Reefer Madness style arguments from the DEA claiming Cannabis has no medical use. This is simply not true.
Over 100,000,000 American's have access to Medical Cannabis. More than 50% of the United States has legalized Medical Cannabis. Our federal government has a patent for the medical uses of Cannabis.
The existence of this patent supersedes the notion that the DEA won't reschedule cannabis because it has no medicinal value. The very fact that the government has this patent should disqualify cannabis from being on the Controlled Substances Act. All you need to do is look at the actual wording of Patent 6630507 itself. The patent claims, "Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties...This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases." The abstract goes on to mention that cannabinoids can be effective in treating inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and HIV. The federal government knows of the efficacy of Medicinal Cannabis. Yet the federal government, and the ever decreasing number of states where Cannabis remains illegal, continue to deny this.
We've written previously about the influence that the pharmaceutical industry has on state lawmakers. Though they deny it, it's pretty safe to infer that the money that they get from lobbyists, does indeed sway their opinions on drug policy here in Idaho. Idaho lawmakers such as state Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder (R-Meridian) are currently fighting as hard as they can to keep cannabis illegal here in Idaho, citing "concern for our children."
We also had the chance to talk with Elisha Figueroa, Director of Idaho's Office of Drug Policy. She told us that despite Cannabis being medically legal in more than half of the United States, that "there isn't enough current research to show that Cannabis has medical benefits".
When asked if Elisha thought that Cannabis is more physically dangerous than the caffeine in a cup of coffee, she said "I don't know."
Despite not knowing if Cannabis is more dangerous than the coffee we drink from Starbucks, our politicians think it's imperative that we keep this plant illegal.
Our politicians are telling us I don't know, there's not enough research, save the children. They are grasping at straws at an issue that both Democrats & Republicans want solved.
It's time to legalize it. It's time to tax it.
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