Earlier this month, the DEA proved its utter detachment from reality – and its subservience to Big Pharma – by maintaining the classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. This means, according to their classification system, it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
The decision was a surprise to many who were expecting the agency to acknowledge the 21st century body of scientific evidence on cannabis’ medicinal value, and the real-life stories of people cured through this plant. The Free Thought Project has documented many examples of children suffering from constant epileptic seizures, who, after receiving CBD treatment (an extract of cannabis), experience a dramatic reduction in seizures and gain a quality of life like never before.
The DEA’s tyrannical chokehold on the wondrous potential of medical cannabis is downright criminal.
In a review of the evidence, published on the U.S. government’s own National Institutes of Health, researchers concluded:
“Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that Information on safety is lacking.”
The good news is, hardly anyone really cares what the DEA thinks. Civil disobedience is happening all over the country as individuals and even state governments recognize the injustice of cannabis prohibition. In a heartening example, one brave Georgia lawmaker admitted that he goes to Colorado to secure medical grade cannabis and brings it back to treat sick children in his own state.
Soon after the DEA gave its decision, Washington state – which has legalized the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis – announced perhaps the boldest act of defiance yet.
“Washington state is moving ahead with its plans to allow scientific research of marijuana, sidestepping federal rules that critics say have hampered study of the drug for decades.
The state has a new marijuana research license that will allow laboratories to grow marijuana for scientific study. State officials expect to start accepting applications for the new license by January.”
The DEA says they “don’t have enough research” to say cannabis has medicinal value, but their own impossibly strict regulations have stifled research for decades. So Washington is directly addressing this disingenuous claim by paving the way for more research – and, very satisfyingly, giving the DEA the middle finger.
As Sam Méndez, executive director of the Cannabis Law & Policy Project at the University of Washington School of Law, points out: “It can take up to two years just to get the federal licenses in the first place, because the process is so long and onerous.”
And, when a researcher finally does get a federal license, the only place they can get research-grade cannabis is from the University of Mississippi. Further, when discoveries are made about the medicinal properties of cannabis, they cannot be applied to state-level systems.
Washington’s state licensing program will bypass these absurd hurdles, and will open the door for private research facilities to conduct research as well as state universities. Research-grade cannabis can be sourced from within the state from a variety of qualified producers.
“The state Liquor and Cannabis Board is now setting up a scientific review panel to scrutinize applications for the new marijuana research license, a first step toward opening the door to applicants, said board spokesman Brian Smith.
The scientific review panel — made up of officials from Washington State University and the University of Washington — will evaluate the quality of proposed research projects, as well as whether applicants have the expertise and facilities to carry out the work.
After developing rules to govern the application process, the LCB expects to start soliciting applications at the start of 2017, with the first licenses to be issued sometime after that.”
On the issue of cannabis, Washington gets full commendations for the rare act of “legislating” freedom by allowing recreational use, and for breaking tyrannical barriers to research on a plant with such medical promise.
It will soon join Israel as one of the world’s leading areas of medical cannabis research, and open the door for a thriving multi-million dollar industry which also serves the benefit of humanity.
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