G.W. Pharmaceuticals accomplished a feat that is about to change the course of history. They achieved drug approval for a plant-based medicine related to cannabis for treatment of certain conditions in children! This doesn’t apply only to states that have legal adult use or medical cannabis. It goes a long way to answering the question of whether cannabis is a medicine in the United States of America.
While It is not uncommon for one arm of the Federal Government to be in disagreement with another, the Food and Drug Administration is the agency in charge of determining whether or not a substance has medical value. The definition of a Schedule 1 drug is that is possesses NO medical value. For the first time in history, our Federal Government has officially acknowledged what has long been obvious to us in the cannabis industry. Cannabis is a medicine, and the patent holder for cannabis as a medicine is coincidentally the U.S. Federal Government.
But what does it all mean? It means the Berlin Wall of prohibition is crumbling. If one company can survive clinical trials for Dravet Syndrome, a debilitating seizure disorder, others will follow. When I was sick, my doctor legally couldn’t recommend cannabis as an anti-nausea, even though he knew it would work. It sat in my sock drawer while I vomited profusely for days. The only one who didn’t know cannabis was good for nausea and stomach distress was me!
Cannabis may not be safe, but it’s safer than alcohol. Millions of Americans medicate legally most evenings in America without a prescription. The medication being used (abused?) is called alcohol. As a predominantly non-drinker, I always feel awkward ordering water or lemonade in a public bar or restaurant.
Our society has turned to pharmaceuticals and alcohol to solve many of our whims. Cannabis is not a miracle drug, but it does have advantages over both traditional pharmaceuticals and alcohol for more applications than we have envisioned. That doesn’t make it good for us, especially in smoked form. Our lungs do not appreciate the carcinogens.
For me, prohibition ended a decade ago when I stopped throwing up. For years I have felt like an outcast praising the virtues of a plant against which most people carry a strong bias. I lost my three best clients in Telluride the day MSNBC aired a story about the Cannabis Industry’s nerd.
I feel vindicated now that the Federal Government has acknowledged a patent on a cannabis based pharmaceutical as a legitimate and useful medicine. We have finally opened the door to solving some very real problems with a plant that offers many incredible solutions.