Trump Administration:

Excerpts from the Atlanta Journal Constitution

  • Responding to a question about the role of medical cannabis as a replacement of opioids for pain relief, US Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar said at a recent press conference that “There really is no such thing as medical marijuana.”
  • The federal government is focused on the development of pharmaceutical alternatives to opioids, Azar said, and does not recognize marijuana as approved pain treatment.
  • [From 2012 to 2017, Azar was President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company>, a major pharmaceutical drug company, and was a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby.]

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This position is, of course, inconsistent with the federal government's recognition of the broad health benefits of cannabis, which is outlined in the U.S. Patent Office patent #6630507 issued to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2001:

"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention."...