“Us,” being those who have fought against the establishment (Government, the law, Big Business, corrupt officials, and those who have financial gain in opposing any cannabis resurgence) to legalize a plant that is embedded into the very fabric of humanity; a plant that was the first ever human planned commercial grow (approximately 10,000 years ago in Taiwan). This same plant is discussed at length throughout the bible for its influence and religious prowess, throughout history in trade, religion, social status and medical literature. This little green plant (a.k.a. Colorado Christmas Tree or Colorado lettuce) was used to create the fabric of the first Spanish vessels to sail across the Atlantic and reach the Americas, and to create both pages of the Declaration of Independence and the fabric used by Betsy Ross in sewing the original American Flag.
While we all believed that we have been making progress in the revitalization of cannabis, so too has Big Pharma – against our interests. We fought the fight for our weed, believed in its cause, stood up to the law to make our point, and finally uncovered the truth that cannabis was only outlawed over a collaborate conspiracy by Randolph Hearst in order to protect his newspaper and tree farm fortune, as well as the unconscionable actions of Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department‘s Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN).
Anslinger and the financially and politically connected Hearst demonized cannabis (which was the legal alternative to alcohol during the Prohibition years), in order to achieve their needs: Hearst to save his business empire and Anslinger to save his job, department and men, as Congress was repealing the Prohibition Act. Alcohol legalization would have ended Anslinger’s department. Cannabis never had a chance with Anslinger in public power.
Anyway, back to the point. While we have been fighting to legalize cannabis for our use, enjoyment, health benefits, and good old American entrepreneurship, the pharmaceutical industry has been opposing us, demonizing cannabis and denying any medical benefit whatsoever, so that they could continue selling us their expensive medicines.
If cannabis has no legitimate healthcare benefits, how can the FDA approve these companies’ studies and grant approvals? If the Pharmaceutical industry is correct and that there is no medical benefit in cannabis, then why should any of us buy their medicines?
While we were not looking, Big Pharma has been at work with the FDA in attempts at approval.
- “Sativex,” manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals. Sativex is a mouth spray that is derived from natural cannabis plant extracts, containing both THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabibinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Sativex is now licensed to none other than the pharmaceutical giant Bayer, who last year merged with Monsanto. (It does not take much imagination to understand the damage to the independent cannabis industry that these two powerhouses could single-handedly manage).
- “Dronabinol”/ “Marinol,” manufactured by Unimed Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Solvay Pharmaceuticals. Given that cannabis maintains its status as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, Unimed couldn’t patent natural THC and thus would not be able to maximize profits, so it chose to develop a Synthetic Delta-9 THC! We shouldn’t touch the THC created by Mother Nature but we should trust in Big Pharma’s synthetic version. In any event, Solvay convinced the FDA to downgrade it’s medicine to a Schedule III. Thus, Mother Nature remains a Schedule I on par with cocaine, heroin, meth.
- “Nabilone” / “Cesamet,” manufactured by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. Nabilone is also a synthetic cannabinoid similar to THC.
- “Dexanabinol,” manufactured by Solvay Pharmaceuticals – later acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2010. Dexanabinol is a Synthetic THC used as naturally produced CBD enzymes in that it is non-psychotropic and blocks NMDA receptors and COX-2 cytokines. The medicine was promoted as a neuroprotective for use after cardiac surgery, a drug that helped regain memory and other high-level brain functioning following trauma as well as anti-cancer.
- “CT-3,” manufactured by Indevus Pharmaceuticals. CT-3 was being promoted as a Synthetic THC that had strong anti-inflammatory properties. (Sounds like natural CBD to me).
- “Cannabinor,” manufactured by Pharmos. Cannabinor is a Synthetic chemical that specifically binds to the brains secondary cannabinoid receptor (CB2). (Sounds exactly like what natural CBD does).
- “HU 308,” manufactured by Pharmos. HU 308 was another form of Cannabinor and was also promoted as a Synthetic chemical that specifically binds to the brains secondary cannabinoid receptor (CB2).
- “HU 331,” manufactured by Cayman Chemical. HU 331 according to the FDA write-up is a Synthetic chemical compound composed of central cannabinoid (CB1), peripheral cannabinoid (CB2), and non-CB receptor medicated pharmacology. Suggested use: memory treatment, weight loss, appetite, neurodegeneration, tumor surveillance, analgesia and inflammation. (Sounds like full-spectrum hemp oil).
- “Rimonabant” / “Acomplia,” manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis. Pimped as a weight loss medication and smoking suppressant. It is a synthetic form of THC that blocks endocannabinoids from being received in the brain. This product does not appear to be permitted on the marketplace anymore.
- “Taranabant,” manufactured by Merck. Taranabant was manufactured with cannabis related properties but ran into FDA problems when all of it’s test subjects were getting high!
For legal battle purposes, the cannabis industry should be yelling that cannabis is a safe, effective and natural alternative to the already legal and regulated alcohol and synthetic or chemically composed pills being pushed. This is different from trying to justify the legality of cannabis because of its health benefits, which only plays into the hands of politicians, haters, big pharma, USDA, and the FDA. Just look at recent medical cannabis proposed laws, many of which will only let you take cannabis in a pill form (with limited exceptions). Some states have even gone as far as written proposed legislation to have cannabis medicine dispensed only through a pharmacy with a prescription.
America, be careful what you wish for. Without realizing it, and without curving your marketing, you might be the cause of legalization – not for the ganjapreneur, but for Big Pharma.