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Activist Post: Marijuana: So Evil, the U.S. Gov’t Owns the Patent “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants”

Activist Post: Marijuana: So Evil, the U.S. Gov’t Owns the Patent “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants”
On January 1st, Colorado became the first state in the nation to legally sell marijuana for recreational purposes.

Hoax stories tell of blood raining in the streets of the state following the legalization, while Internet memes everywhere are pointing out the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits legal prescription drugs kill 100,000 Americans every year (while marijuana has never been linked to any overdose deaths).

This is also going to be a financial boon for the state, considering all the taxes it will rake in (an estimated $67 million a year, not to mention the millions of dollars saved in law enforcement costs for enforcing marijuana prohibition), and many are calling it a first step in nationwide legalization.

Regardless of whether or not you personally agree with marijuana legalization, would it surprise you to know that the U.S. government, via the Department of Health and Human Services, actually owns a patent on the use marijuana’s primary active ingredients as both “antioxidants” and “neuroprotectants”?

It’s U.S. Patent #6,630,507 titled ”Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants,” dated October 7, 2003:

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.

Seeeerioussssslyyyyy dude. Marijuana is used to treat actual diseases and disorders; it hasn’t been shown to cause them.

Parents Matt and Paige Figi would certainly agree in regard to marijuana’s neuroprotectant effects; their six-year-old was diagnosed with the rare and often deadly Dravet Syndrome. She was having upwards of 300 seizures a week. After putting her on all manner of pharmaceuticals, the parents finally turned to medicinal marijuana. Now their daughter might have one seizure a week (but sometimes she doesn’t have any).

Medicinal marijuana, already legal in 20 states, allows people to use it for treatment of everything from chronic pain to glaucoma to arthritis to offsetting the effects of harsh cancer treatments. Speaking of, studies have also shown that cannabinoids have anti-cancer properties as well.

Meanwhile, marijuana still accounts for half of all illicit drug violations and billions spent annually in law enforcement costs in a country that puts more people in prison per capita than any other nation in the world, with nearly 700,000 people arrested per year for marijuana possession alone. In a recent study on the racially biased aspect of marijuana prohibition, the ACLU noted that the drug is actually overcriminalized, as cops averaged one pot bust every 37 seconds just in 2010; further studies revealed that more marijuana arrests did not contribute to less violent crime overall.

When put in contrast with the fact that alcohol, perfectly legal in the U.S., is responsible for 4% of deaths every year worldwide — more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence — the claim that marijuana prohibition is ultimately in the public interest is unconvincing at best.

Melissa Melton is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared, and a co-creator of Truthstream Media. Wake the flock up!

Philippines Tragedy Shows Canada Needs a Climate Change Wake-Up Call | David Suzuki

Philippines Tragedy Shows Canada Needs a Climate Change Wake-Up Call | David Suzuki.

As people in the Philippines struggle with the devastation and death from the worst storm to hit land in recorded history, world leaders are meeting in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss the climate crisis. “What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness,” Yeb Sano, lead negotiator for the Philippines, told the opening session of the UN climate summit, which runs until November 22. “We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw.”

Given the slow progress at the 18 meetings held since 1992 — when countries from around the world joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — it’s hard not to be pessimistic. Canada, in particular, has been repeatedly singled out among the close to 200 member countries for obstructing progress and not doing enough to address climate change at home.

But as scientific evidence continues to build, and impacts, from extreme weather to melting Arctic ice, continue to worsen, with costs mounting daily, the impetus to resolve the problem is growing.

We’re exhausting Earth’s finite resources and pushing global ecosystems to tipping points, beyond which addressing pollution and climate issues will become increasingly difficult and costly. The only hindrance to developing a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate plan for the world is lack of political will.

Part of the problem is that much of the world is tied to the fossil fuel economy, and the rush is on to get as much oil, coal and gas out of the ground and to market while people are still willing to pay for it and burn it up. We’re wasting precious resources in the name of quick profits, instead of putting them to better use than propelling often solo occupants in large metal vehicles, and instead of making them last while we shift to cleaner energy sources.

But there’s cause for hope. Solutions are available. Governments just have to demonstrate courage and leadership to put us on a path to a healthier future.

For example, a recent report by energy consulting firm ECOFYS, “Feasibility of GHG emissions phase-out by mid-century”, shows it’s technically and economically feasible to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to zero from 90 per cent of current sources with readily available technology. It shows we could phase out almost all net emissions by 2050 by innovating further. In doing so, we could likely meet the agreed-upon goal of limiting global average temperature increases to below 2 C, and we’d stand a 50 per cent chance of staying below 1.5 C by the end of the century. All of this would have the added benefit of reducing “water, air and soil pollution associated with traditional energy generation.”

The report echoes the David Suzuki Foundation’s findings regarding Canada’s potential to meet its current and forecasted demand for fuel and electricity with existing supplies of solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass energy.

Whether or not any of this is politically feasible is another question. But the longer we delay the more difficult and expensive it will get.

Polling research also shows Canadians expect our government to be a constructive global citizen on climate action. A recent Leger Marketing survey sponsored by Canada 2020 and the University of Montreal found the majority of Canadians understand that human activity is contributing to climate change and believe the federal government should make addressing the issue a high priority. Of those polled, 76 per cent said Canada should sign an international treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions, with most supporting this even if China does not sign.

The poll also found majority support for a carbon tax as one way to combat climate change, especially if the money generated is used to support renewable energy development. Although B.C. has recently stepped back from previous leadership on climate change, itscarbon tax is one example among many of local governments doing more than the federal government to address climate change.

We and our leaders at all political levels — local, national and international — must do everything we can to confront the crisis. As Mr. Sano told delegates in Warsaw, “We cannot sit and stay helpless staring at this international climate stalemate. It is now time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway.”

With contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.

 

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