I welcome your new column on cannabis news — "The Week in Weed" — and would like to point out that it's not the entire federal government that regards cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug ("The High Court," Oct. 17).
The FDA approved Marinol (a synthetic form of THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis) back in 1985 for treatment of nausea. When it was approved it was classed as a Schedule 2 drug, which by definition means that it has medical use but is potentially addictive. Now after more than 25 years of use it is clear that Marinol has not become a street drug and its status has been downgraded to Schedule 3, the same as many narcotic pain-killers.
Another federal agency, the U.S. Patent Office, issued a patent in 2006 on the medical effects of the 68 naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis called cannabinoids, of which THC is one. This patent was issued to another federal agency — the Department of Health and Human Services. If you really want to know why the Supreme Court rejected even considering reclassifying cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, then follow the money.
For every politician in Washington, D.C. there are at least 60 lobbyists representing the pharmaceutical industry making sure we never have affordable or alternative drugs. As long as cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug then little or no research can be conducted on these medically useful cannabinoids. It's a classic Catch-22.
Charles Davy, Bayside