Americans for Safe Access File Brief in Federal Court in Support of Charlie Lynch
The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed an amicus 'friend of the court' brief in federal court on Monday on behalf of former medical marijuana dispensary operator Charles C. Lynch, who gained notoriety in the cannabis community due to his battles with the federal government; his trial in 2008 and sentencing in 2009 for violating federal marijuana laws.
"We feel strongly that the federal government is abusing its prosecutorial discretion on medical marijuana cases like Lynch's," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who filed the brief in support of Lynch. "These types of prosecutions against medical marijuana providers continue unabated under the Obama Administration based on more than 70 such indictments since the president took office," Elford continued. "We must stem the tide of federal prosecutions and instead defer to state courts to deliberate violations of state law."
Even though the Obama Administration wanted a 5-year sentence for Lynch, federal District Judge George H. Wu considered Obama's declarations of tolerance toward medical marijuana and in 2009 sentenced Lynch to a year and a day.
Since 2009 the federal stance toward medical marijuana has got much worse, to the point where hundreds of dispensaries have been closed in California alone. The Obama Administration says it is only targeting medical marijuana operators not complying with state law, but there are several instances that contradict that, including the recent raid at El Camino Wellness in Sacramento, CA.
"Attorney General Holder and President Obama must be held accountable for their aggressive over-reaction in medical marijuana states," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "They're either ill-advised about what the Justice Department and other other federal agencies are doing in medical marijuana states, or they're lying to American public."
What the American public does about it remains to be seen.
The Crimes of Big Pharma
The number 1 reason marijuana is still illegal and that there is so much political resistance to medical cannabis is the money of “Big Pharma,” the major pharmaceutical companies. They cannot compete with medical marijuana so they suppress as much information about it as they can, and pay off politicians to make sure it stays prohibited at a federal level.
But some “Big Pharma” companies are embroiled in lawsuits and accusations of criminality and fraud. The pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline recently settled its fraud case to the tune of $3 billion.
According to U.S. federal investigators, GlaxoSmithKline (http://www.naturalnews.com/036416_GlaxoSmithKline_fraud_criminal_char...):
• Routinely bribed doctors with luxury vacations and paid speaking gigs
• Fabricated drug safety data and lied to the FDA
• Defrauded Medicare and Medicaid out of billions
• Deceived regulators about the effectiveness of its drugs
• Relied on its deceptive practices to earn billions of dollars selling potentially dangerous drugs to unsuspecting consumers and medical patients
And the company doesn’t deny it, they just apologized, agreed to the settlement and moved on.
People wonder why healthcare is so off-kilter in this country; maybe the collusion of the government and Big Pharma to monopolize the industry and funnel large amounts of cash into the campaign coffers of our elected officials is a problem.
Marijuana May Deflect Obesity
Oxycontin for Kids
Many will tell you that parents allowing their children to ingest medical cannabis is a very controversial thing and should not be allowed without extensive testing.
Those at the FDA would certainly look down their nose at such dangerous practices. How dare you use a non-toxic plant to help children?
The FDA and the generous folks at Purdue Pharma have a better idea: Oxycontin for kids!
That’s right, the highly addictive painkiller is currently being tested on children ages 6 and up. Worried that its patent for the drug is expiring soon, Purdue Pharma is seeking another six months from the DEA – six months that are worth about $1.4 billion to the company.
To get those 6 months, the company must prove to the FDA that the drug has use…among children.
According to The Young Turks, the company “insists it is conducting the trials to ensure the safety of children currently being prescribed OxyContin ‘off-label’ by doctors, some, including three physicians involved in the trials, said the company is more concerned about the impending expiration of the drug's patent, and is hoping to receive a six-month extension from the FDA.”
How much more money can be made off of Oxy if kids get hooked on it? The possibilities are endless when it comes to greed and death.
Scientific Review says Cannabis Schedule I Classification Is Not Tenable
A new scientific review in The Open Neurology Journal questions cannabis’ place as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Reviewers from the University of California at San Diego and the University of California, Davis went over several recent clinical trials on the safety and effectiveness of cannabis.
“Evidence is accumulating that cannabinoids may be useful medicine for certain indications,” the review concluded. “Control of nausea and vomiting and the promotion of weight gain in chronic inanition are already licensed uses of oral THC (dronabinol capsules). Recent research indicates that cannabis may also be effective in the treatment of painful peripheral neuropathy and muscle spasticity from conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Other indications have been proposed, but adequate clinical trials have not been conducted.
“… The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area. 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. It is true cannabis has some abuse potential, but its profile more closely resembles drugs in Schedule III (where codeine and dronabinol are listed). The continuing conflict between scientific evidence and political ideology will hopefully be reconciled in a judicious manner.”
Dr. Igor Grant was the lead author of the review, and he is director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, which has done several FDA-approved ‘gold standard’ clinical trials on cannabis.
The fact is the federal government is the only entity left holding on to this ridiculous fantasy that cannabis has no medical value. And in the meantime they are hurting millions of patients by restricting access and research.
Company in Israel Develops Cannabis Plant without the High
Tikun Olam, a company in Israel, has developed a marijuana plant that has no THC in it. For some medical marijuana patients, the “high” that comes from THC is not needed, or even wanted. It depends on their ailment(s).
While there are over 60 cannabinoids in the marijuana plant, one in particular has been shown to have multiple medical properties, including an anti-inflammatory effect. That chemical is Cannabidiol, or CBD.
"CBD plants are available in different forms all over the world," said Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, adding that the company's plant is free of THC and very high in CBD. He says they have developed Avidekel, a cannabis strain that contains 15.8 % CBD and only traces of THC, less than 1%.
According to Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, this is the first non-THC strain developed in Israel. "It is possible that (Avidekel's) CBD to THC ratio is the highest among medical marijuana companies in the world, but the industry is not very organized, so one cannot keep exact track of what each company is doing," he said.
Ruth Gallily of the Hebrew University who works for the company and has been studying CBD for more than 12 years, says, "The cannabis plant, enriched with CBD, can be used for treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, liver inflammation, heart disease and diabetes."
Marijuana with no THC can be very helpful to people who have a lot of stuff to do during the day, but don’t want to be high or in pain.
Cannabis is an incredibly versatile plant, and we have only seen part of what it can do. If the government would just get out of the way, marijuana could be helping so many people.
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