The Federal Brain is Seizing
Imagine the Federal Government as one brain. Many intricate parts connected in various and complex ways. Consider now the thoughts this Federal Brain holds regarding Cannabis.
The DEA views Cannabis as a "Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States..." (1) $3.6 Billion is spent enforcing Cannabis possession laws(2) yet the data paid for by the government to help determine the efficacy of these endeavors provided by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health consistently record that for over 50% of our high school aged youth, Cannabis is "easy to get".(3)
The Department of Health and Human Services holds patent 6630507 for "Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants" (4)
The Food and Drug Administration has given Orphan Drug Status to Great Britain based G.W. Pharmaceuticals' plant derived cannabinoid medicine "Epidiolex...for the treatment of Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes" (5)
NIDA The National Institute on Drug Abuse, administers for the Federal government "... a compassionate program for medical marijuana: 20 people suffering from debilitating diseases legally received marijuana cigarettes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), after approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This program was closed to new candidates in 1991..." (6) NIDA "contracts with the University of Mississippi to grow marijuana for use in research studies." (7) Any scientist or government office that wants to research potential therapeutic benefits of Cannabis must first ask NIDA and as their name aptly implies, they are only here "to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction." (8)
The US National Library of Medicine describes a seizure as "the physical findings or changes in behavior that occur after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.9. The Federal Brain is seizing, refusing to try cannabinoids, and we are the physical findings. It can feel productive to hold a critical eye of any single person or group of people but to attempt to humanize what is in fact a systemic problem is not a rational use of our limited resources and time. The roadblocks that must be overcome do not exist in the form of some person or group, but in the way that all of these people and groups do or do not work together. To re-shape a system it is necessary to become part of the conversation surrounding it.
Stop and Thinq is our response to this. It is our effort to build a database that documents the voice of those affected by Cannabis policy and culture, and then project that voice into the Cannabis conversation. By avoiding attachment to any particular set of demands, and instead committing time and energy to documenting real cannabis users experience, we can be confident that the influence this voice has will be true to those it represents. This project is called Stop and Thinq and we invite you to learn more about it here.
1. http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Marijuana.pdf 2. https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/aclu-thewaronmarijuana-rel2.pdf 3. http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr4/Table6.html 4. http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507 5. http://www.gwpharm.com/FAQ.aspx 6. Ben Amar, M. (2006). Cannabinoids In Medicine: A Review Of Their Therapeutic Potential. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, (105), 1-25. http://www.doctor deluca.com/Library/WOD/WPS3-MedMj/CannabinoidsMedMetaAnalysis06.pdf 7. http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana/nidas-role-in-providing-marijuana-research 8. http://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida 9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0003684/