Sad outcome to what I considered a valid lawsuit. Keeping cannabis in Schedule 1 includes a statement that it has no medicinal value. This is clearly not true. Whether or not people agree about “how” medicinal it is, I believe many have realized medicinal value. Thank you, especially, to Alexis Bortell, for carrying the torch so high. Oddly, the judge made it clear that he accepted her claim that it had medicinal value, so that is something. But he said they had not exhausted their administrative options, which appears to mean appealing to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Time to regroup and look at new targets for efforts to focus on to fix this.
Perhaps focusing efforts on the Controlled Substances Act: https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/csa.shtml
As it is the Attorney General who apparently holds all the power to change status or remove a substance from the CSA, we all need to put pressure on Jeff Sessions or push to have him replaced if he continues to keep cannabis as Schedule 1. How someone with no medical training can hold all the power over deciding things like this is deeply concerning. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/811.htm
In case you were wondering who appoints the Federal Attorney General, it is the president. So Donald Trump appointed Jeff Sessions and he was confirmed by Congress. So this is ultimately up to Donald Trump. I think a Twitter campaign is in order as this is apparently a favorite mode of communication. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Attorney_General
Please remember that our U.S. government holds an actual patent since 1998, supported by research done by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, on cannabinoids as therapeutic for neurodegenerative, ischemic stroke and autoimmune diseases, yet keeps the cannabis plant, *which is the inspiration even for the names of these molecules*, in Schedule 1 which claims no medicinal value. To me, this seems a valid argument against Schedule 1 status.
https://patents.google.com/patent/US6630507 Here is an actual quote from this patent: “This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.” It also mentions that: “THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is another of the cannabinoids that has been shown to be neuroprotective in cell cultures, but this protection was believed to be mediated by interaction at the cannabinoid receptor, and so would be accompanied by undesired psychotropic side effects.”
So, the US Health and Human Services agency clearly states it is useful in the treatment and prophylaxis, but it is still in Schedule 1, which effectively suppresses research on it which could rapidly clarify how to refine the use of cannabinoids therapeutically? Sigh…
Isolated or synthetic cannabinoids, ironically only synthetic THC made by a pharmaceutical company, yet is the exact same molecule in the plant — but considered illegal from that source, are considered medicinal, but the exact same molecules in a plant are considered without medicinal value and as dangerous as heroin?
I cannot help but believe the powerful pharmaceutical industry is behind much of this insanity, followed closely by drug enforcement agencies and private prison industry lobbyists for resisting a rational and compassionate change. Our healthcare system is sadly almost completely driven by the profit motive as is our research into medicine development. We are completely dependent on pharmaceutical companies to fund and conduct research to develop new treatments, yet they will not spend their dollars on this because, if they spend millions to research therapeutic potential, people will be able to grow a plant that can potentially be used to achieve those therapeutic results. What a corrupt pickle we are in.
So, for the time being, Donald Trump and AG Jeff Sessions are the only ones who can change the Federal Schedule 1 status of cannabis. I have tweeted to Donald Trump. As many have tried and failed to make any progress by reaching out to Jeff Sessions with lawsuits, it seems difficult to hold out hope that he may change his stance. But perhaps I need to suppress that thought and try anyway. As hard as it seems, perhaps many clear, non-insulting and rational requests from patients may eventually reach him and help him to change his understanding of the profound benefits they have found when using cannabis medicines. I know this may seem very naive of me but I see this as one of the only options we Americans have to change the Schedule 1 status. Just because it seems unlikely to succeed, does not mean we should stop trying to use the mechanism in place to effect that change. Here is the official page to contact his department: https://www.justice.gov/…/your-message-department-justice