by Tab Moura
The history of cannabis in the United States has some dark and terrible chapters; the prohibition of cannabis has caused irreparable harm to the lives of many innocent people. Cannabis is a plant that has been used as a pawn to manipulate certain people into compliance, which is something we’re still fighting to correct today. People are still going to prison for connection to a plant, even though the government has personally, and legally, dispensed medical marijuana to —not one, not two, but 13 people. Double standards aren’t scientific. No matter how ”technical” we get, there is nothing wrong with cannabis, and these days we finally have ”enough” research to back that up.
The truth is, there never was enough research. The government has known all along that cannabis is medicinal. It may be a coincidence, but the anti cannabis campaigns didn’t begin until the early 1900s, around the same time that pharmaceutical medicine was beginning to grow. Before it’s prohibition, it was often found in medicines, as a sleep aid and anti inflammatory. After decades of hate campaigns against cannabis, finally Robert Randall happened.
A man named Robert Randall was arrested for growing and consuming cannabis. It was 1975, a time when cannabis was beginning to illegally work it’s way into more hands. While still taboo, he had heard of the many ways it helps people, so he tried it and learned it helped his glaucoma. When he stood trial, he used a ‘medical necessity’ defense and the charges were dropped. He filed a petition with the FDA and won, making Robert Randall the first person to receive weed from the government. For 2 years the government sent him cannabis every month. Even when they discontinued sending his medicine, he again advocated for necessary access. This led to the creation of the ‘Compassionate Investigational New Drug program,” or CIND.
This program was not easy to join, they had to meet many criteria, but ultimately from 1978-1992 thirteen people joined the CIND program and received medical cannabis straight from the government. The program was closed to new cannabis patients in ‘92 due to a major swell in applications. The program still exists today, for other investigational new drugs, they haven’t accepted new cannabis patients in almost 30 years.
Are we tired of watching as lies about plant medicine cost people their lives? Natural medicine is under attack in many ways. Not because it’s dangerous, not because it’s fake, but because there’s no profit. If you don’t believe me, look up how much it costs to get FDA approved CBD.
I will always advocate for your right to choose whatever treatment you and your doctor agree on… and I will continue to raise awareness about these scientific double standards until people like myself, and the other ‘Robert Randalls’ out there, finally have protected rights to do the same. And last but not least, the fight won’t be over until all of those who have been imprisoned on ‘nonviolent’ plant medicine charges, have been freed.