While the DEA, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Department of Justice fight to keep marijuana a Schedule I drug (the same category as heroin and PCP) claiming it has no medical value; the US Department of Health and Human Services clearly has a different opinion, as it owns US Patent 6630507, for the medicinally therapeutic properties of the plant.
Fourteen years ago, this month, the US government issued a patent for cannabis-based compounds to itself, yet cannabis patients, caregivers, and advocates are still fighting to prove the healing properties of the herb.
The patent clearly states that cannabinoids are powerful antioxidants which have the potential to treat a myriad of ischemic, age-related, inflammatory, and auto-immune disorders. The patent goes on to say cannabinoids are also a natural neuroprotectant which could help treat neurological damage caused by stroke and trauma, as well as, other neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis.
Due to this definition of cannabinoids having known medical and therapeutic effects by the US Government, the number 6630507 went viral on the internet as cannabis users and supporters from all over the world told the DEA to “talk to the hand”, as they wrote “#6630507” on their hands and anything else marijuana-related and posted them to social media.
What the Patent Means
Essentially, US Patent 6630507 means certain departments of the US Government are at odds with how to approach marijuana, medicinally or otherwise. On one side, you have the US Department of Health and Human Services maintaining a patent for a medical miracle; and on the other you have the Drug Enforcement Agency fighting to keep it illegal.
A spokesperson for the National Institutes of Health, Mark Rorabaugh, said in an interview with the Denver Post,
“The patent doesn’t prove the chemical compound is effective in the stated treatment. The compound would have to be purified, synthesized in a lab setting, subjected to extensive testing in animals and humans, and ultimately require U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to show that it’s safe and effective for the intended purpose.”
However, Kannalife, a company out of New York, has been granted an exclusive license for using technology outlined within the patent for making cannabis-based drugs for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy. Kannalife also has a non-exclusive license to develop a cannabidiol-based medication for the treatment of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. CTE has come under a microscope in the last several years due to its prevalence in retired NFL football players and fighterswho’ve had one too many concussions.
So, Uncle Sam, Which Is it?
Although the American public would love to sit around and wait for the next 15 years while you battle it out in skewed scientific studies, bad data, and biased panels… civilizations have been safely using the marijuana plant as medicine for thousands of years.
Children with severe epilepsy are being given back their childhood, opiate addicts are being given a second chance, and cancer patients are finding a way to survive.
Cannabis can, and does, significantly improve the quality of life for many people.