In the discussion thread: Pot-based prescription drug looks for FDA OK (first pharmaceutical developed from raw marijuana) [View all]
Response to kpete (Original post)
Mon Jan 23, 2012, 02:51 AM
RainDog (28,784 posts)
6. The Big Switch-a-roo
Dr. Lester Grinspoon "On The Pharmaceuticalization of Marijuana" a decade ago.
Given the very limited toxicity of marijuana and the growing appreciation of its therapeutic value, it will undoubtedly find increasing application as a medicine in the coming years. But there is uncertainty about the forms in which it will be made available. Governments are hesitant to approve it because of concern about its use for nonmedical purposes and the difficulties of distributing as a medicine a substance that is already easily available. An alternative is the development of commercial cannabis pharmaceuticals that can be regulated and controlled. But pharmaceutical firms will be reluctant to invest the necessary money if they believe they cannot compete successfully with marijuana. Some of these products may have advantages over whole smoked or ingested marijuana, but most will not, and they will all be quite expensive. Ultimately, we can anticipate two medical distribution networks, a legal one for cannabinoid pharmaceuticals and an illegal one for street or homegrown marijuana
Andrea Barthwell: Deputy Drug Czar turned lobbyist for Bayer/GW Pharma/Sativex
Drug Czarina in the palace:
...You won’t find any commercial development of plant-based marijuana medicines being pursued in the United States. Andrea Barthwell, a deputy director in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and President Bush’s point person on medical marijuana, says cannabis medicines aren’t compatible with modern science. They do not constitute “a serious line of research,” she says.
“The people who are advancing marijuana as a medicine are perpetuating a cruel hoax that exploits our compassion for the sick,” Barthwell says. “They are using patients’ pain and suffering in an attempt to change America’s drug control policy. Marijuana is a crude plant product that most definitely is not a medicine.”
Former Drug Czarina turned lobbyist:
Barthwell showed up at a conference sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and claimed that Sativex is not cannabis...and she's a doctor? An advocate from ASA noted her appearance.
After I pointed out to the few reporters that she was not JUST a private citizen, but the ex-Deputy Drug Czar, a representative of GW, and the failed Republican nominee for IL Senate, she told the press that rescheduling marijuana would not make it available to patients. I concurred. Then she asked me how I could say that Sativex was marijuana. I asked her if it was not marijuana, what was it? She rattled off her sound byte "If your grandmother was in pain would you give her opium?"
I am writing this list because I have major concern for the future of Sativex. Barthwell looked ridiculous. All the reporters kept asking her "They are here in support of Sativex, what is your problem?" And she just kept giving her sound bytes about how Sativex was not marijuana. Luckily Matt Atwood, Executive Director of IDEALReform, also a chemist was present and challenged her on the "compound level" to which her only response was "What are you a scientists?"
Directly after the press conference, I received a "Cease and Desist" order from the Bayer attorneys over a domain name ASA purchased but had yet put up the content www.SativexInfo.org , www.SativexInfo.com, and www.SativexInfo.net which is a pro-Sativex website they also found out about from Don Wirtshafter's e-mail. We have kindly told them we will not be giving over the domains and we will end up in court in the next 20 days or so.
So, we see that, yes, indeed, drug warriors like this woman are working with Bayer and GW to pull some slick shit and make Sativex legal while keeping the cannabis plant illegal by pretending that a medicine made from WHOLE-PLANT CANNABIS, not a synthetic, is not WHOLE PLANT CANNABIS.
So, basically, if the DEA and the office of the Drug Czar make claims that Sativex is substantially different than cannabis that they oppose as medicine at the state level, the only difference between being a drug dealer and someone in the Fed. govt who sets cannabis policy is that dealers get paid more money. Both don't give a shit about human life if there is money to be made for a few at the expense of the many.
Gil Kerlikowske spoke in Fresno in July of 2009. He said: "Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit," regarding Operation SOS -- Save Our Sierra -- a multiagency effort to eradicate marijuana in eastern Fresno County, according to the Fresno Bee.
He rephrased his statement soon afterward on a program on KOMO news in Seattle to say: “I certainly said that legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary nor is it in mine. But the other question was in reference to smoked marijuana. And as we know, the FDA has not determined that smoked marijuana has a value, and this is clearly a medical question that should be answered by the medical community.”
In response to one of the many petitions to the White House web site to stop the war on cannabis, including this one from LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) that noted:
Taking a noncriminal, regulatory approach to marijuana would enable states to pass their own laws, regulations and taxes to control marijuana and would end the Justice Department's intimidation tactics in medical marijuana states. One or more states will likely legalize adult use of marijuana in 2012, and the Obama administration should stop wasting scarce federal resources and uphold the president’s campaign pledge to respect states’ rights when it comes to marijuana.
Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.
Kerlikowske obviously "got the memo" to continue to treat average American citizens like criminals regarding cannabis UNLESS Bayer, etc. can profit from it. As Grinspoon explains in the first link, above, cannabis WILL NEVER be approved as medicine in the U.S. based upon current regulatory demands - just as ASPIRIN would never be approved as medicine in the U.S. at this time based upon current regulatory demands - b/c no pharma co could profit from the same with the amount of money required to bring a substance onto the market - unless that substance has NO COMPETITION from natural substances and can be a FALSE scarce market.
Because of this reality, the truth is that the Federal govt. simply needs to decriminalize and then legalize cannabis - or simply legalize it if Sativex is going to be on the market here - otherwise, what a bunch of elitist, citizen-despising crony capitalists. I wonder how much money GW Pharma is using to grease the backsides of the pigs in various federal offices and Congress to achieve this stunningly anti-democratic level of perfidy against the American people? I wonder if Bayer contributes to Lamar Smith's campaign since he's holding up the Decriminalization Bill in the House?
I hear it pays well to be a prostitute among the monied class in DC.
Kerlikowske and the President need to take some vocabulary lessons. The Drug Czar said it's not in the administration's vocabulary to say the word "legalization." They need to learn that one. They already know "hypocrisy" very well, it seems. I don't care if Obama said he opposed legalization. If Sativex is going to be marketed in the U.S., American-grown cannabis should be regulated as a product like alcohol and made available to the millions who cannot afford to pay for the pharmaceutical elixir of cannabis (which is, btw, nearly the exact same product that was sold in the U.S. throughout the 19th and first half of the 20th century!) The science indicates that anything else is breathtakingly corrupt.
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The Big Switch-a-roo
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