Marijuana: Another Obama time bomb?

In December 2016, Obama holdovers in the FDA published a regulatory time bomb designed to make trouble for Trump.  The agency reclassified marijuana and its medically useful molecules to the same danger category as heroin (Schedule I).  But marijuana is not strictly addictive like heroin, although users can become dependent.  Furthermore, the two main ingredients of the plant, THC and CBD, are quite different.  Both have important medical uses, according to the high-level journals in biomedicine.  But THC, the hallucinogenic molecule, has long been believed to trigger psychotic breaks in a small percentage of male adolescents, while CBD is believed to be completely safe and very promising as an anti-cancer and anti-pain agent.  There are another 80 plant cannabinoids with great potential.

The FDA has moved to kill the burgeoning cannabis industry without separating safe from dangerous ingredients.  This is regulatory malpractice.  The Democrats seem willing to harm people to discredit the Trump FDA.

There is also a libertarian case for recreational marijuana, but any smoked plant can harm the lungs.  That risk is far less for "vaped" marijuana, which doesn't introduce burn products into the lungs.

The December 2016 FDA ruling ignores these vital distinctions and aims to prohibit any product with even trace amounts of the 80 plant cannabinoids by fiat.  But there are now varieties of grown marijuana that are almost completely CBD (and therefore safe).  For cancer and pain relief, dose-controlled THC and CBD appear to be safe in adults.  Some teenage males are at risk with THC, especially the pure synthetic kind, but there is evidence that CBD combined with THC mitigates some of that risk.

The FDA has the regulatory power to destroy the entire industry, without making obvious distinctions between safe ingredients and potentially risky ones.  In many cancer and pain patients, there is a balance of risk versus benefit to be achieved, and absolutist regulation moves the medical doctor out the loop.

The body has its own endocannabinoid system, just it has endogenous endorphins.  The opium poppy can be used or abused.  Opiates are still the main drugs for severe and life-destroying pain.

President Trump campaigned on legalized medical marijuana, but the Obama FDA seems to be all for overregulation.  That is suspicious, because Obama himself has used illegal drugs for a long time.

Since, in practice, the government has failed to control marijuana use, this kind of absolutist regulation is not going to work.  It takes a regulatory sledgehammer to cannabis.

This overregulation is designed to fail, turning millions of Americans against the Trump administration, which is already being blamed for Obama-era decisions.  The FDA is proposing to prohibit even the tiniest amounts of the 80-plus ingredients of the plant, and therefore promotes more dangerous synthetics.

I think the FDA ruling is a time bomb set by Obama appointees.  We are also seeing FDA overregulation of opiates, leaving real patients in intolerable pain.

An old military rule is never to give commands that will not be obeyed.  It discredits legitimate authority.  There's a huge difference between sensible regulation and destructive overregulation.

In December 2016, Obama holdovers in the FDA published a regulatory time bomb designed to make trouble for Trump.  The agency reclassified marijuana and its medically useful molecules to the same danger category as heroin (Schedule I).  But marijuana is not strictly addictive like heroin, although users can become dependent.  Furthermore, the two main ingredients of the plant, THC and CBD, are quite different.  Both have important medical uses, according to the high-level journals in biomedicine.  But THC, the hallucinogenic molecule, has long been believed to trigger psychotic breaks in a small percentage of male adolescents, while CBD is believed to be completely safe and very promising as an anti-cancer and anti-pain agent.  There are another 80 plant cannabinoids with great potential.

The FDA has moved to kill the burgeoning cannabis industry without separating safe from dangerous ingredients.  This is regulatory malpractice.  The Democrats seem willing to harm people to discredit the Trump FDA.

There is also a libertarian case for recreational marijuana, but any smoked plant can harm the lungs.  That risk is far less for "vaped" marijuana, which doesn't introduce burn products into the lungs.

The December 2016 FDA ruling ignores these vital distinctions and aims to prohibit any product with even trace amounts of the 80 plant cannabinoids by fiat.  But there are now varieties of grown marijuana that are almost completely CBD (and therefore safe).  For cancer and pain relief, dose-controlled THC and CBD appear to be safe in adults.  Some teenage males are at risk with THC, especially the pure synthetic kind, but there is evidence that CBD combined with THC mitigates some of that risk.

The FDA has the regulatory power to destroy the entire industry, without making obvious distinctions between safe ingredients and potentially risky ones.  In many cancer and pain patients, there is a balance of risk versus benefit to be achieved, and absolutist regulation moves the medical doctor out the loop.

The body has its own endocannabinoid system, just it has endogenous endorphins.  The opium poppy can be used or abused.  Opiates are still the main drugs for severe and life-destroying pain.

President Trump campaigned on legalized medical marijuana, but the Obama FDA seems to be all for overregulation.  That is suspicious, because Obama himself has used illegal drugs for a long time.

Since, in practice, the government has failed to control marijuana use, this kind of absolutist regulation is not going to work.  It takes a regulatory sledgehammer to cannabis.

This overregulation is designed to fail, turning millions of Americans against the Trump administration, which is already being blamed for Obama-era decisions.  The FDA is proposing to prohibit even the tiniest amounts of the 80-plus ingredients of the plant, and therefore promotes more dangerous synthetics.

I think the FDA ruling is a time bomb set by Obama appointees.  We are also seeing FDA overregulation of opiates, leaving real patients in intolerable pain.

An old military rule is never to give commands that will not be obeyed.  It discredits legitimate authority.  There's a huge difference between sensible regulation and destructive overregulation.