Until recently, medical marijuana advocates were overwhelmingly found on politics’ progressive wing, but certain elected officials in the Republican Party are increasingly supportive of medical cannabis, providing there’s no psychoactive THC, sending shockwaves through conservative circles. As a result, CBD-only bills have been popping up in conservative Deep South states as well as Utah, with 11 states passing laws in just six months.
The Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014, named after the high-CBD, low-THC strain associated with famous medical marijuana child patient Charlotte Figi, was recently introduced by committed conservative Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Charlotte’s Web is a fairly rare strain grown in Colorado, but he bill’s intention is for cannabis sativa strains with less than 0.3% THC to be federally recognized for their medical benefits, and taken out of Schedule I classification.
The federal government recognizing that cannabis does have medical properties, to any extent, would be a big step forward – merely having the bill introduced is big news. The framing of “CBD-only” laws is also positive, with advocates for medical marijuana showing their responsibility and indicating that the products they promote aren’t going to get people stoned.
The hemp CBD that Perry and his colleagues are trying to get declassified is often styled as “therapeutic hemp” in the media, and the bill attempts to completely distinguish between low-THC marijuana and high-THC marijuana. However, the bill could be a backward step for medical marijuana, if high-THC strains are written off as recreational.
But there are people who use THC medically – some patients with rare seizures have found that only THC can treat them. To categorize these cannabis users with those simply smoking pot to get baked is wrong.
In the past, politicians would quickly bat aside arguments that medical marijuana could be used to reduce suffering for patients with chronic pain and seizures, claiming that there was no evidence marijuana could be used medically. Further unsourced claims that marijuana healing stories were myths also did the rounds.
When medical marijuana advocates were focussed on THC marijuana, politicians accused us of making emotional arguments to get laws passed. When THC medicine (e.g. sprays) was proposed, there apparently wasn’t enough research to prove its medical viability. Politicians said that marijuana would have to be recognized via the FDA, not through the ballot box.
But we’re not hearing any of that now. CBD-only and “therapeutic hemp” products are all the rage and most politicians across the land are doing their utmost to get them approved at state and federal level. It’s a marked change in attitude toward medical marijuana, especially since even CBD products haven’t got the certified scientific evidence that was once so highly sought after.
Indeed, anecdotes and pulling heartstrings is exactly what’s happening in law-making chambers all over America, in effort to get CBD-only laws passed. Who cares what the FDA thinks anymore? There’s an emotional argument for CBD-only legislation.
You’re not the only one who thinks something seems fishy. It’s crystal clear now that it wasn’t marijuana itself politicians are so strongly opposed to, but the THC in it. The science is irrelevant, as are all the medical marijuana stories, both concerning CBD and THC. Politicians’ real desire is to limit availability of psychoactive substances to law-abiding, free citizens, and CBD-only legislation does that through stealth.