How can you soar like a majestic eagle in azure skies if your take-off is blocked by turkeys? That is precisely the gut feeling many medical and pharmaceutical investigators have at present when they have to confront the varied bureaucratic hurdles set by a tone-deaf US administration. Believe it or not, the critical clinical research on the potential value of Cannabinoids in severe chronic illnesses like Epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, etc., is being haunted by the sorely outdated Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which had  banned its use and sales.

At present it is legal to prescribe—with varying limitations—marijuana and the active components for medical use in all the American states except four of them; however, it remains in the Class I of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrar of controlled substances, which makes it illegal to possess, cultivate, distribute it, according to the Federal statutes, Only in the handful of states that have approved its recreational use (including our state of Florida) have these rules being somewhat put in a “legal limbo” in order to allow the personal consumption of the drug.

In the February 2019 Senate hearing on the Opioid Crisis, many prestigious medical researchers decried that the fuzzy, confusing legal status of the drug has impeded the full deployment of academic resources to fully design and carry out comprehensive clinical trials for its usage. That has left many patients in dire need of relief with unanswered questions about the reliability and usefulness of many commercial preparations that might not have met stringent quality standards. Only the drug Epidiolex, a CBD derivative, was approved by the FDA in June 2018 for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut and Drayet syndromes , two severe forms of Epilepsy affecting the very young,

Investigators emphasized the lack of a proper supply of consistent research-grade marijuana to conduct the necessary clinical trials as there is only one US facility, the University of Mississippi, approved to cultivate it; some researchers have openly criticized the quality of its samples, with several of them being contaminated by mold. According to the US Attorney’s office, twenty applications have been filled to cultivate marijuana but none of them have been approved so far. In spite of the talk pour la gallerie of politicians of all stripes in Washington, D.C. the reality sur-le-champ is that the Federal government might be effectively impeding the set-up of experimentation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared in February 2019 that marijuana should not be considered as a controlled substance in international treaties, paving the way for governments to take a fresher look at their legislation. Sadly, the USA has a long history of ignoring the call of international organizations and stubbornly insisting on a pernicious attitude of “father knows best.” There are two countries that have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes—Uruguay and Canada—and it seems that a few others will follow the lead very soon. When will our do-nothing representatives in Washington D.C. finally wake up to the need of implementing the proper clinical research trials on Cannabinoids and is derivatives for medical use ?

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

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