DEA Chief Denies Medical Efficacy of Cannabis

DEA Chief Denies Medical Efficacy of Cannabis

Just a few short months ago, the acting chief administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Chuck Rosenberg, shocked the American people by admitting that heroin is obviously more dangerous than cannabis — something his predecessor of eight years, Michele Leonhart (who resigned following a sex party scandal), refused to acknowledge.

Now, however, much to the dismay of those who thought the acting chief was perhaps turning over a new leaf for the DEA, Rosenberg has declared that the medicinal use of marijuana is in fact a ‘joke’ and that it “never has been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.”

All anecdotal and scientific evidence aside, perhaps Rosenberg does not realize that the US government holds a patent regarding marijuana as medicine.

As the American people continue to demand that federal marijuana laws be reformed, Rosenberg indicates that people should not fuse the arguments of legalizing recreational marijuana with medicinal marijuana.

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,”

Rosenberg said in a briefing to reporters.

“We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

As a result of this recent statement from Rosenberg, more than 8,000 Americans (and growing) are petitioning for his resignation (click here to find the petition).

As it stands, 23 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing patients the opportunity to legally utilize the medicinal value and efficacy of cannabis. In addition, 17 states have approved “CBD-only” laws, meaning that qualifying patients are permitted to consume low-THC, high-CBD cannabis concentrates (most often in the form of oil).

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis which has gained national recognition for it’s powerful efficacy in the treatment of conditions like epilepsy, pain, cancer, arthritis and more. Experts argue, however, that all cannabinoids working together in a process called the entourage effect provide significantly more medicinal value than single cannabinoid therapies, so CBD-only legislation is not widely supported.

Nearly 80 percent of states have approved the use of medical marijuana, yet it will continue to be illegal under federal law as long as the plant remains classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Those classified as Schedule I substances, like heroin, are defined as having no recognized medicinal value in the United States. Recognizing that cannabis does not deserve such a classification, Sen. Bernie Sanders recently introduced legislation that would strike cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, thereby unscheduling it, and ending federal prohibition.

chuck rosenberg dea

Health Canada Says No To Advertising Weed

Health Canada Says No To Advertising Weed

This week, Health Canada issued letters to medical marijuana providers warning them to stray away from sexed-up advertising that make their products look and sound appealing. The new set of regulations is set to take effect on January 12 and will threaten to take away licensing for noncompliant marijuana distributors.

Health Canada is Canada’s federal department responsible for overseeing public health concerns, and has recently taken a firm stance on what can and cannot be used in marketing marijuana products. The department reached out to 20 distributors in personalized letters warning of the tightened regulations. The strict guidelines dictate how products are displayed on websites, social media, and even restrict linking to third-party sites and services.

Health Canada says, “The information provided by licensed producers to the public should be limited to basic information for prospective clients such as the brand name, proper or common name of the strain, the price per gram, the cannabinoid content, and the company’s contact information.”

This comes in stark contrast of some Canadian marijuana producers’ lofty goals. We recently took a look at what may be deemed as Canada’s luxury marijuana brand, Hydropothecary, which will likely suffer from these type of restrictions in marketing language. However, dispensary owners are remaining optimistic.

Marc Wayne, CEO of Bedrocan Canada said, “We welcome the clarity and enforcement … and the level playing field.” Ottawa lawyer Trina Fraser says that the words treats, relieves, and prevents may be out-of-bounds when describing medicinal properties of different strains. With little information about how the strains work available to the public, distributors may turn to a one-on-one consultative experience that guides medical patients to the right strain.

Currently there are only 22 licensed medical marijuana providers in Canada, but around 1,000 are in line behind them. Though Health Canada hasn’t yet limited the number of cannabis producers for the country, they will likely continue to tighten regulations in an effort to raise standards for providers.

Photo Credit: Rock & Roll Canada

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