Cannabis-based medicine may be on its way to winning the approval of the United States government, but this will likely have no impact of marijuana’s illegal status.
Earlier this week, Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals, which is revered as the Big Pharma of Marijuana, announced that its latest experimental drug for epilepsy -- Epidiolex -- is showing promising results in a couple of clinical studies currently being conducted here in America.
While many states across the nation are legalizing extremely restricted medical marijuana programs to give patients suffering from epilepsy access to cannabidiol or CBD oil, it appears as though Uncle Sam is making underhanded advances to capitalize on cannabis-based medicine without having to actually legalize marijuana.
In addition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizing GW Pharma to begin research in the states for the CBD product Epidiolex, they also recently awarded the drug company “fast track” approval for its cannabis spray, Sativex, which is now in the final phases of clinical trials as a treatment for cancer patients. However, while these drugs consist of marijuana’s two most prominent cannabinoids, CBD and THC, the federal government still insists on classifying cannabis as a Schedule I dangerous substance with no medicinal value.
Despite the blatant hypocrisy, GW Pharmaceuticals is proving what marijuana advocates and medical experts have known for some time: cannabis-based medicine works. Epidiolex, which is simply strawberry-lime flavored CBD syrup, has been shown to diminish the frequency of seizures in epileptic children by more than 50 percent, according to GW’s Chief Executive Officer, Justin Gover.
Unfortunately, what is good for stockholders is not always beneficial for patients in need of effective treatment. While GW Pharmaceutical’s recent clinical trial success has caused their stock to increase by 16 percent, there is very little doubt this medicine will be released to the market as an affordable substitute for marijuana. In fact, recent reports indicate that GW’s cannabis-based drugs in other countries are costing patients in the neighborhood of $1,700 per month.
Yet, it is apparent Big Pharma is who the federal government has chosen to side with in terms of making cannabis-based medicine available in the United States. It is what they know, and it allows them to put a foot comfortably on the neck of the marijuana industry without being associated with weed.
So, how does the federal government plan to market cannabis-based medicine in the United States without being forced to reclassifying marijuana? In a recent article entitled “FDA: Yes to Marijuana Spray, Will Not Reclassify,” HIGH TIMES reported that once the GW Pharmaceutical drug, Sativex, receives final approval from the FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration planned to list the drug as a Schedule II or III substance. We suspect they will do the same with Epidiolex, which is predicted to go in front of federal regulators in 2016.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.