At an event yesterday at the Cleveland Clinic concerning “Our Nation’s Opioid Epidemic,” acting head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Chuck Rosenberg, stated that “marijuana is not medicine.”
The Washington Examiner reported that Rosenberg said, “If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome. I will be the last person to stand in the way of that… But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”
Note the use of the term “smoked marijuana.”
This rhetorical pivot has been happening since around 2014, when the undeniably positive results of marijuana oil treatments on epileptic children were revealed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN specials.
In 2015, CBS reported on how Rosenberg said that smoking marijuana should not be considered medical treatment.
“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal—because it’s not,” he said. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine—that is a joke.”
Federal officials must emphasize “smoked marijuana” isn’t medicine because companies like GW Pharmaceuticals are gearing up for the FDA trials of their non-smoked, marijuana-based medicines.
Rosenberg’s call for using the “FDA process” to evaluate the science on smoked marijuana as medicine is completely disingenuous. He knows quite well that the process is modeled on studying isolated, replicable compounds of known composition—a THC or a CBD molecule, for instance.
But “smoked marijuana” is a compound of varying composition—no one marijuana bud will smoke the same as another, even from the same plant.
There are over two dozen states now where patients are smoking marijuana as medicine. Clearly, it is exhibiting medical benefit for millions, but none of those states are engaged in any sort of data collection that would verify this.
It’s almost as if they don’t want to know.
Smoking marijuana provides benefits that no pharmaceuticalized pill or liquid version of cannabis can match. The cannabinoids and terpenes in whole plant cannabis provide an “entourage effect” that heals people more effectively than isolated cannabinoids. The inhalation of cannabinoids provides instant relief, whereas eating them takes 20-to-45 minutes.
Rosenberg and his allies also steadfastly ignore cannabis vaporization, which provides all the benefits of smoking without the smoke.
The only joke here is that Rosenberg still supports the jailing of patients healing themselves with cannabis… and nobody is laughing.