Patients Ought To Be Skeptical Of Proposed CBD-Only Legislation — Here’s Why

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 6, 2014

    In recent weeks, lawmakers in several states have moved forward with legislative proposals to permit specific strains and/or extracts of cannabis possessing high quantities of the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), but otherwise maintaining criminal prohibitions on the whole plant.

    But is this new direction in the best interest of patients? As I wrote in a recent column for Alternet.org (republished with permission by Cannabis Now under the title “Patients Ought To Be Skeptical Of Proposed CBD-Only Legislation — Here’s Why”), I believe the answer is ‘no.’

    Ultimately, patients should not be unnecessarily forced to decide between either accessing the whole plant or its isolated components. They should have safe, legal access to both, and politicians, even well-intentioned ones, should not restrict patients’ right to choose the most suitable option.

    Below are excerpts from my commentary. You can read the entire text here.

    Patients Ought To Be Skeptical Of Proposed CBD-Only Legislation — Here’s Why
    via Cannabis Now

    [excerpt] If the plant ain’t broke, why fix it?

    For longtime marijuana law reformers, the ongoing political conversation surrounding CBD is instructive. It makes it clear that many politicians’ public opposition to the idea of patients using marijuana therapeutically isn’t because of supposed unanswered questions surrounding the plant’s safety or efficacy. Rather, it is because lawmakers oppose the idea of some people getting high from a naturally growing herb. (The fact that patients can get equally high or even higher from FDA-approved synthetic THC has, for whatever reason, never been an expressed concern of either lawmakers or prohibitionists.) After all, the very same politicians who argue that marijuana isn’t medicine because it hasn’t been approved by the FDA or who allege that the substance hasn’t yet been subjected to sufficient scientific scrutiny utter no such public objections to the idea of legalizing patient access to CBD – a schedule I compound that hasn’t been reviewed, much less approved by the FDA, and that has been clinically studied far less than cannabis.

    Perhaps most ironically is that were it not for the advent of legalized whole plant marijuana, a policy change publicly opposed by many present day CBD-only political advocates, lawmakers (and anti-pot groups like SAM) today wouldn’t be aware of CBD, much less advocating for it. The reality is that it was the stakeholders in medical marijuana states, and those who provide for them, who have done the most to explore and promote cannabidiol as a legitimate therapeutic agent. And they were able to do so because they, unlike most federally licensed medical researchers, had access to the whole plant.

    We’ve been down this road before. Not long ago, lawmakers and anti-marijuana zealots were dismissing patients’ desire to access the marijuana plant because they alleged that the THC-pill Marinol could adequately meet patients’ needs. Patients and their advocates were skeptical of lawmakers’ claims then, and properly so. Now many of these same politicians are once again dismissing patients’ calls for whole plant medicine by claiming that products and strains containing CBD alone only will suffice. Patients and their advocates ought to be equally skeptical once again.

    59 responses to “Patients Ought To Be Skeptical Of Proposed CBD-Only Legislation — Here’s Why”

    1. tara franks says:

      its typical that these slimebags would find a way of fucking people out of options like this is some sort of communist dictated democracy. it takes a real douche bag/ nazi too pass this sort of law just because of their own subjective views rather than the views of the people they are passing it for. its like if mormons were nazis thats where people like this would fit into being described

    2. mexweed says:

      Paul has hit this one out of the park, but here’s another wrinkle to keep track of– the hostility to one compound rather than the other “because it is the one that helps you (or, oops, someone’s kid) get high”.

      I’ve tried to turn Dr. Freud’s Third Eye (or Ear) on that phrase and hopefully figure out what they hate/fear about the “get high”

      Linguistic clue: what if “high” or “get high” was the VERB that goes with “eye”, just as “hear” goes with “ear”?

      I.e. “get high” means uberpotentiate the ability to see/perceive, to see things you otherwise don’t see (and which the fascists prefer everyone “not-see”, get it?). Uh oh– someone’s kid starts to see/perceive things, relationships, moralities, opportunities their owner/groanups don’t want them to see.

      And THC is reputed to confer that dangerous, controversial, unwanted “ability” on some owner/parent’s kid surely leading to rebellion and family disaster from said owner/parent’s perspective.

      The heroic tragedy story handed down to us about 1914 is that the groanups around Europe plotted and schemed and made deals to send troops to support each other resulting in conveniently killing off millions of uppity, maybe revolutionary young men (mostly white ones, no less).

      If by some luck a bigger percentage of those young men had learned HOW TO METABOLIZE THC in 1913 (instead new “mild” H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide Camel $igarettes were introduced, easy to carry with you and inhale hurriedly before trench combat etc.), they might have figured out “forbidden solutions” such as political ways to head off the war or personal ways to avoid the draft. Instead US $igarette consumption allegedly doubled 1913-1918 and you know the rest.

      Today the PIG$ (Punishment-Industrial-Government-Syndicate) has a vested interest in demonizing THC because (forget medical, recreational) its Inspirational, Occupational use by millions of young workers could head off more profitable wars, imprisonments, nicotine enslavements etc.

    3. Shawn Kearney says:

      What exactly would CBD-only accomplish? Sure, it is an good anti-inflammatory, but that’s only part of effective pain management. What exactly do these proponents suggest? Taking CBD-only extracts with oxycontin?

    4. Thom says:

      The hole thing makes me sick. What right do these alcohol drinking little pompous ass people have to tell anyone anything about marijuana ? I should go tell N.A.S.A. how to fly there rockets.

    5. bongstar420 says:

      Do these guys know that refluxing CBD in an acid/solvent matrix will yield THC?

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      I find it hard to believe after witnessing the cruel efforts against medical marijuana that these people are by any stretch of the imagination well intentioned. We’ve seen decades of this drug war cruelty rigging the government to thwart the development of marijuana as medicine. THC helps me learn my limitations due to Asperger’s Syndrome. CBD ain’t gonna help with that.

    7. Oliver Steinberg says:

      The reason for the CBD bandwagon is that it’s seen as a face-saving public-relations move by the prohibitionists who are losing very badly in the court of public opinion because of the widespread publicity given to the “charlotte’s web” strain of cannabis that’s been successfully used to dramatically improve the lives of children suffering from severe seizure disorders. These kids weren’t helped nearly as much by any of the toxic prescription medications. Of course, this is a nightmare for the narcs–not because they empathize with the kids and their families, but because it gives cannabis a good name as a useful, safe, and necessary medicine. So they yield just enough to try to get those kids off the television and the you-tube. The fact that 95% or more of other patients won’t have access to beneficial herbal preparations is of no concern. The CBD-only, or anything-but-herbal-cannabis bills, are just another trick to keep the police in the business of dictating health-care decisions instead of leaving it to the doctor and patient. The feature about it that stands out to me is the denial of equal protection of the law–picking a few favorable patients as exceptions while continuing to criminalize everyone else. It is no coincidence that the Alabama bill was brought in because a policeman’s child was afflicted. We live in a police state, and the police really and truly don’t think they have to live by the cruel and repressive rules they enjoy enforcing against the rest of us.

    8. Oliver Steinberg says:

      The prohibitionists don’t believe in democracy. The will of the people is precisely what they fear. I have often tried to ask politicians and police spokesmen whether, if the public supported legalization and the laws were changed to permit it, would they accept and abide by it?

      None ever said, “Yes, I would respect the will of the people.”

      Always, the response was, “That will never happen.”

      They said it with confidence, because they INTEND TO NEVER LET IT HAPPEN.

      That’s what we’re up against. Try it yourself, with your representative or local sheriff or police chief or district attorney. See if you can get on video.

    9. tarzan says:

      CBD by itself can be harmful in regards to some cancers & our natural immune system responses.

    10. Joe Nickelsack says:

      I smell a Rat or is that a Weasel?
      Why only CBD? Shouldn’t it be in addition to what the majority really wants.How about outright legalization nationwide? Land of the free, home of the brave!!!